Nutrition Smart Villages: Relevance
- GS 2: Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
Nutrition Smart Villages: Context
- As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, to commemorate the 75th year of Independence of India a programme on “Nutrition Smart Village” will be initiated to strengthen the Poshan Abhiyan.
Nutrition Smart Villages: Key points
- This new initiative aims to reach out to 75 villages across India through the network of All India Coordinated Research Project on Women in Agriculture (AICRP-WIA) which is in operation at 13 centres in 12 States of India.
- The initiative has been undertaken in line with the Prime Minister’s call to all the academicians, agricultural scientists and all the institutions to adopt and transform 75 villages.
- Under the initiative, a total of 75 villages will be adopted by AICRP centres and ICAR-CIWA, for which the AICRP centres will adopt 5 villages each with the remaining to be adopted by ICAR-CIWA with an aim to develop 75 Nutri-Smart villages.
- The objectives of the initiative are promoting nutritional awareness, education and behavioural change in rural areas involving farm women and school children, harnessing traditional knowledge through the local recipe to overcome malnutrition and implementing nutrition-sensitive agriculture through homestead agriculture and Nutri-garden.
- To achieve the goal of Malnutrition free villages, intensive awareness campaigns and field activities will be undertaken for focusing on the concept of Nutri-village / Nutri-food / Nutri-diet/ Nutri-thali etc. for strengthening the Poshan Abhiyan.
- Awareness among the women farmers will also be created about their legal rights in all walks of life. The products/tools/technologies developed by AICRP centres will be evaluated through multi-location trials.
Steps taken so far to combat malnutrition
- The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution launched a centrally sponsored pilot scheme in 2019-20 on ‘Fortification of Rice and its Distribution under PDS’ for a period of three years.
- The pilot scheme focuses on 15 districts in 15 states – Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh.
- Six states, including Maharashtra and Gujarat, have started distributing fortified rice as part of the pilot scheme, with approximately 2.03 LMT of fortified rice being distributed till June 2021.
- Four more states are expected to start by September 2021.
- The Food Ministry says that from April 1, 2022, 250 high-burden districts are proposed to be covered under the rice fortification scheme.