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Q12- Describe why India needs to change to a more sustainable, healthy, and resilient agricultural system in order to accomplish its objective of zero hunger. (250 words)

  Paper & Topic: GS III à Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies     

  and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives,

  functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security;

  Technology missions; economics of animal rearing.

 

 

  • Model Answer:

 

  • Introduction:

 

  • Food is a common thread that runs across all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is essential for meeting overall targets on time.
  • With one-sixth of the world's population, India will be vital to meeting the targets.

 

  • Body:

 

  • The SDG India Index 2020-21 was just produced by NITI Aayog, highlighting national and state progress on the SDGs.

 

  • The following are some of the key data related to SDG-2, the goal of achieving zero hunger:

 

  • In India, 34.7 percent of infants under the age of five are stunted; 40.5 percent of children aged 6 to 59 months are anaemic; 50.3 percent of pregnant women aged 15 to 49 are anaemic; and toddlers aged 0 to 4 are underweight.
  • India is responsible for a quarter of the world's hunger.
  • In India, 4 out of 10 children do not reach their full human potential due to chronic malnutrition or stunting.
  • According to the NFHS-5, numerous states scored poorly on nutrition indicators.
  • India's food system confronts severe impacts of the Green Revolution Pathways to pursue in attaining the targets under SDG-2, in addition to nutritional concerns (Zero Hunger)
  • Crop diversification should be encouraged, particularly in areas where current practises are environmentally unsustainable.
  • While Indian agriculture contributes significantly to GHG emissions.
  • According to the Government of India's third Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC, agriculture accounts for 14% of total emissions.
  • In some sections of the country, crop residue burning has become a major issue.
  • Monoculture and a package of incentives are mostly driving this.
  • Climate-smart interventions such as conservation agriculture, organic farming, and agro-ecological techniques, for example, can efficiently address environmental problems while also providing food security and nutrition.
  • Conservation agriculture provides answers to problems like zero-tillage or no-till farming, crop rotation, in-situ crop harvest residue management/mulching, and industrial uses like baling and bio-fuel production through good agronomy and soil management.
  • Using botanical pesticides, green manuring, biological pest management, and other environmentally friendly activities helps to conserve the environment.
  • Fortunately, the organic movement is gaining traction in Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, and a few other states.
  • Changing consumer behaviour is a critical component in transforming Indian food systems, and it is positively correlated with crop and diet diversification.
  • India's national nutrition effort, POSHAN Abhiyaan, can play an important role in alleviating persistent malnutrition.
  • The FAO estimates that 40% of food produced in India is lost or wasted at every stage of the supply chain.
  • Increased sector profitability and reduced food insecurity, as well as lower GHG emissions, water usage, and environmental degradation, might save India $61 billion by 2050 if it wins the fight against food loss and waste.
  • Moving to a circular economy will help India achieve the SDGs, such as decreasing food waste by 2030 and increasing resource efficiency.

 

  • Conclusion:

 

  • India's performance is critical to achieving the global objective of achieving Zero Hunger.
  • To accomplish the objective of zero hunger, we must restructure our food systems to be more sustainable, nutritious, and resilient.
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