By Team Marcomm |May 01, 2023
Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) and Indian School of Business (ISB) along with Ministries of Food Processing Industries, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Govt. of Odisha, came together for a workshop and deliberated on key aspects for advancing agriculture-nutrition convergence in India, as an important element for enabling long-lasting impact pathways to improve nutrition outcomes in the country.
Shri Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture chaired this important meeting that is expected to lead to transformative outputs in improving the availability, accessibility, and affordability of nutrient-dense foods in India. He said, “Strengthening of rural markets, i.e., rural haats must happen through competitive business models, profitable and efficient infrastructure and, through enabling an ecosystem of entrepreneurs such that rural haats become economically viable spaces for access to affordable nutrient-dense foods”.
MoA&FW and ISB had announced their collaboration towards the end of last year with the objective of strengthening agriculture-nutrition linkage in India. The collaboration will focus to improve the availability, accessibility, and affordability of nutrient-dense foods (fruits & vegetables and animal-source foods) to low-income consumers in India through policy, markets, and technology. The design and implementation of the interventions are being set out to be gender-inclusive and climate-change ready as well.
MoA&FW will anchor this collaboration at the Government of India and is the key stakeholder to drive the advancing of agriculture-nutrition convergence.
Dr. N. Vijaya Lakshmi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, who initiated the workshop, shared, “the collaboration with ISB will enable in harnessing the power of convergence of several programmes and schemes, both at the Centre and the States, for improving nutrition outcomes from a focus of nutrient-dense foods.”
Senior officials from MoA&FW, MoFPI and MeITY and Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Government of Odisha discussed the possible pathways and canvas for agriculture-nutrition convergence with the leadership from the Indian School of Business and from ISB’s implementation partners MicroSave Consulting (MSC) and Policy & Development Advisory Group(PDAG).
Speaking at the workshop, Professor Ashwini Chhatre, Executive Director, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, ISB said, “ISB will bring its expertise and the strength of its collaborations across organizations and institutions, both national and from across the world and, from across sectors to support and enhance GoI’s capacity in strengthening agriculture-nutrition linkages.”
ISB’s technical support to the Government of India is expected to significantly strengthen agriculture-nutrition linkages such that policy, markets and technology can work cohesively to improve nutrition outcomes in the country, through a focus on nutrient-dense foods, i.e., fruits & vegetables and animal-source foods.
ISB will build a food systems visualization engine that will support and enhance the government’s capacity in agriculture-nutrition linkage. ISB will work closely with the Ministries to identify and assess current data sets, programmes, schemes, and policies to build a comprehensive food systems visualization engine that will equip policy makers with cutting-edge analytics and stark & succinct pointers to influence nutrition outcomes in India.
ISB will also undertake rapid responsive research to deepen understanding and visibility into the challenges and opportunities from agriculture-nutrition convergence. ISB will collaborate with several Ministries to identify and define these problem statements for research.
At the workshop, ISB, with the cohort, charted out the initial steps and consolidated the action areas for the next quarter. The cohort will convene every quarter to work together and is expected to make big strides in advancing India’s agriculture-nutrition convergence.