Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh

  • On 18th November, 2019, the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) along with Bill Gates, co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh (BPKK), to address the menace of growing malnutrition in the country.

Aim

  • To reduce malnutrition through multi-sectoral results-based framework which includes agriculture, among women and children
  • To promote primary dietary practices

Need

  • Increasing Modern Food System: The advent of modern food systems has resulted in a loss of knowledge on and consumption of traditional and local nutrient-rich foods in favour of less nutritious industrialised and processed food products, leading to rise in health related issues in all age groups.
  • Lack of Diet Diversity: There is lack of diet diversity in the country, which is one of the major reasons for the prevailing malnutrition.
  • Rice and Wheat Dominance: In the last few decades, only two cereals- rice and wheat has been the mainstay of the Indian diet, over shadowing all other nutritional cereal grains.

About BPKK

  • The BPKK will serve as a repository of diverse crops across 128 agro-climatic zones in India for better nutritional outcomes.
  • In consultation with WCD Ministry and the foundation, the project team will select around 12 high focus states which are representative of the geographical, social, economic, cultural and structural diversities of India.
  • In each of the states or group of states the team will identify a local partner organization which has relevant work experience in Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) and nutrition for developing the food atlas-Poshan Atlas.
  • Further, a five-point action programme has been proposed to make India nutrition secure-
    • To ensure calorie rich diet for women, expectant mothers and children
    • To ensure intake of proteins in the form of pulses to eradicate protein hunger in women and children
    • To eradicate hidden hunger due to deficiency of micro nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B, Iron and Zinc
    • To ensure clean drinking water supply
    • To spread nutrition literacy in every village particularly in mothers with children less than 100 days’ old
  • The five point action programme aligns with different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Well Being) and SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).

Poshan Atlas

  • The ministry along with the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will document and evaluate promising regional dietary practices and the messaging around them and develop a India’s First Poshan Atlas, under POSHAN Abhiyan, government's multi-ministerial convergence mission with the vision to ensure attainment of malnutrition free India by 2022.

Importance

  • The POSHAN atlas will map the crops and food grains grown in different regions of the country because the solution to tackling malnutrition lies in promoting regional cropping patterns and embracing local food that are rich in protein.
  • The information gained through the Atlas will be disseminated at the district level for implementation through cooperative tasks among all the stakeholders - farmers, food supply intermediaries and consumers

Significance

  • Guiding Force: It would serve as guiding force, propelling parents and communities to rethink on what to feed and what to consume.
  • Push for Behaviour Change: Awareness and knowledge about our crop diversity and regional variations in nutritious food will provide a nudge for behaviour change across the country propelling demand which, in turn, will provide opportunities to farmers and agro-processing units to address consumer needs.
  • Different Collaboration for Better Result: Further, the project would see government, academia, the scientific community, private sector and cultural groups join hands and take a major step towards finding local, workable solutions to be implemented at community levels.
Read: Burden of Malnutrition

 

 

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, November, 2019