Innovative solutions to the food crisis
On 26th March 2011 Navdanya’s latest report “Health per Acre: Organic Solutions to Hunger and Malnutrition” by Dr Vandana Shiva and Dr Vaibhav Singh was released by Sayeda Hameed, Member of the Planning Commission.
India is faced with a triple food crisis – an agrarian crisis, the tragic symptom of which is 250,000 farmers’ suicides, the rising food prices and food inflation and the hunger and malnutrition crisis. All three crises have common roots – a non sustainable, inefficient system of food production and the commodification of food.
The report shows how biodiverse ecological agriculture produces more health and nutrition per acre while increasing farmers’ incomes. Contrary to the myth that organic farming cannot feed India or the world, the report shows that ecological agriculture is in fact the only way to remove hunger and poverty.
The UN has also recently submitted a report to the general assembly showing that ecological agriculture can double food production in a decade. Ecological farming also solves the problem of the agrarian crisis by lowering the cost of production making farmers free of external inputs and hence of debt and suicides.
Food is not a commodity. Food is for nutrition and sustenance. Therefore measuring the nutrition and health output of agriculture is more relevant than measuring the yield of commodities that are traded and leave the farm. The commodification of food has created 1 billion hungry people worldwide and 250 million hungry people in India. Commodification and speculation of food is also contributing to the rise in food prices which has led to double digit inflation.
The report was released at a conference on Health per Acre, where S. Fontana from Navdanya presented an analysis of the food crisis and Dr Vaibhav Singh presented details of Health per Acre.
Eminent nutritionists and health experts such as Dr Sarla Gopalan, Former Secretary Women and Child Development, S. Jalaja, Former Secretary of AYUSH, Dr Mira Shiva, M.D. and Pinky Anand, Senior Advocate, presented at the session on Right to Health, Food and Nutrition.
Farm leaders Krishan Bir Chaudhary and Rishipal Ambavat along with Dr T. Haque, Former Chairman of Commission on Agricultural cost and prices and Mr Atul Kumar Anjan from the CPI spoke on Farmers Right to Livelihoods.
The evidence and analysis presented in Health Per Acre shows that the solution to the triple crisis exists. The Government needs to wake up.
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