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Indian Journal of Social Research Vol. 60 (5) (September - October, 2019) (733-748) 

Need and Scope for Farming System for Nutrition in Bihar

R. Gopinath

MS Swaminathan Research Foundation
Chennai, Tamilnadu (India)

G. Anuradha

MS Swaminathan Research Foundation
Chennai, Tamilnadu (India)

Abstract

In a situation where a significant section of the population is malnourished and are dependent on agriculture, a pathway for addressing food and nutrition security by leveraging agriculture would perhaps have great potential. Farming System for Nutrition (FSN) is one such approach to tackle household food and nutrition insecurity. The paper assesses the need and scope for FSN in the state of Bihar in India and identifies the scope for integrating nutrition into existing agricultural policies.  

Bihar has made significant strides in reducing malnutrition over the years, however, the prevalence of stunting and wasting among children remains the highest among Indian states. Promotion of a FSN approach in the state can potentially be a long-term solution to combat malnutrition as nearly 89 per cent of the rural population depend on agriculture. Though, the state government has accorded great importance to agriculture and has undertaken several initiatives to improve productivity, leveraging agriculture for nutrition does not seem to have been adequately addressed. There is ample potential to integrate nutrition objectives into agricultural policy, and contribute to reduce Bihar’s malnutrition burden by production of diverse, risk tolerant, nutri-rich high-value and marketable crop and animal based food products. 


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