Indian Prime Minister Backs Up Golden Rice to Fight MalnutritionFebruary 11, 2011
Asserting that agricultural development is a key part of the viable strategy to improve nutrition and health, Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh endorsed the development and deployment of biofortified crops including Golden Rice to improve the nutritional status of adults and children.
"I understand that research efforts have made it possible to biofortify some crops for better nutrition outcomes. Golden Rice containing beta carotene provides the calories as well as nutritional supplements that take care of several diseases associated with Vitamin-A deficiency. Multi grain flour that mixes soya, oats and millets with wheat flour in different product combinations is yet another approach to meeting the challenge of malnutrition. In all these initiatives, the imperatives of food safety and quality are paramount," noted the Prime Minister. He inaugurated the IFPRI 2020 international conference on Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health held from February 10–12, 2011 in New Delhi India. More than 900 delegates from 65 countries participated in the two-day international conference aimed at developing solutions to address global food, nutrition and health challenges.
Reminding the success of the Green Revolution era that made India self-sufficient in food production, the Prime Minister called for an integrated food production-marketing network to optimize distribution of food among people. "Looking ahead, we must all begin to take more concrete steps to meet people's aspirations to get access to healthier, more nutritious foods for their families. The Green Revolution in our own region of South Asia, to which Dr. Swaminathan made a magnificent contribution, shows just how much can be accomplished when technology advances are combined with sound policies.
Rapid growth in agriculture, particularly that which diversifies the food basket while ensuring adequate availability of energy and other basic nutrients, combined with other activities and initiatives in health, hygiene, and women's education will help overcome poor health, hunger, and malnutrition. But, since malnutrition is particularly high amongst the poor and the vulnerable section, this needs to be supplemented by viable social safety nets. "We are committed to soon bring before our Parliament a Right to Food Act which will seek to ensure this outcome," said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister of India's address at the conference is available at http://pmindia.nic.in/lspeech.asp?id=1016. For more information about speeches and presentations visit http://2020conference.ifpri.info/ information about biotech development in India can be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com of the South Asia Office of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications.
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