New Delhi: Increasing crop productivity and production with efficient use of scarce resources are the only long-term solutions to ensure food and nutritional security of the country, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said Thursday.
In his message on the World Food Day, which is observed all over the world on October 16 every year, Pawar asked all stakeholders to take a resolve of eradicating malnutrition and hunger in the country.
"The only long term solution to ensuring food and nutritional security in the country lies in increasing production and productivity in the agriculture sector with diverse and integrated farming systems to provide nutritious diets to each and every citizen," Pawar said in a statement.
He said rapid industrialisation and urbanisation have reduced the availability of natural resources such as land and water for growing food and it is imperative to utilise the limited resources for sustainable supply of food to the ever increasing population through effective policies.
"While ensuring the sustainability of our food systems, we have to not only produce nutritious food for our present population but also protect the capacity to feed the future generations," Pawar said.
The sustainable food systems require a commitment from food producers as well as food consumers to use resources efficiently at every stage, he added.
The sustainability can also be improved by turning waste products into valuable fertiliser or energy and also by minimisation of food losses and waste.
"The future of sustainable agricultural growth and food security in India is dependent to a great degree on the performance of small and marginal farmers," Pawar said.
The government has launched a number of schemes keeping in view these farmers and other beneficiaries especially women and children, he highlighted.
"On this (world food) day, let us all resolve to use the scarce and limited resources at our disposal to ensure complete eradication of malnutrition and hunger in our country," Pawar said.
He urged renewed commitment from all stakeholders to ensure food and nutrition security of the people through concerted action for sustainable food systems.