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Special Programmes like NARI and KSHAMTA by ICAR to Create Diversity in Food Systems in Country & Strengthen KVK’s

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

Creating Sustainable Value chains for Transforming Food Systems’by IRRI was a Multi stake-holder Panel discussion that aimed to welcome a new paradigm on food system transformation. Speaking at the panel discussion, Dr A. K. Singh Deputy Director General (Agricultural Extension,ICAR) spoke on Production system and technology initiatives done by ICAR on biofortification of 50 varieties of crops like Rice, Millets and Wheat.

Focused programmes under Knowledge Systems and Homestead Agriculture Management in Tribal Areas (KSHAMTA) in 125 districts; and Nutri-sensitive Agricultural Resources and Innovations (NARI).  The initiative is to grow food what we want to eat. The focus of these programmes is to convene programmes on nutritionally enriching foods. Mapping the entire food system of village and suggesting what they should eat is done in NARI and KSHAMTA deals with spreading awareness about nutrition rich foods and encouraging them to grow those in their home steads.

The special programmes are in turn as a result of the proposal of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education for strengthening of 669  Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs). Established KVKs would act as knowledge and resource centre in the field of agriculture in the district and would build models of technology uptake and farmers'empowerment leading to support Government of India’s initiative of doubling farmers'income. The special programmes are initiated through the KVK Scheme will help in diversifying food systems within the country.

Integrated model systems are already established in KVKs. I hectare model and 1 acre models are available. Both bring different perspectives, said Dr. A. K. Singh. We continuously see that wherever there is scope for irrigation, rice and sugarcane is grown, even in Bundelkhans regions also. He also reiterated on growing Maize because it needs less water. The panel discussion opened up areas to ensure stability of the earth system as well as human health.

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