Tuesday, May 14, 2019

IRRI and partners transforming sustainable food systems landscape: EAT-Lancet Commission report launched in India

The EAT-Lancet Commission's report 'Food. Planet. Health', a groundbreaking study on nutrition, health, and the food system , was formally released for India on 4 April at headquarters of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a global initiative launched by United Nations in 2012 to make nutritious food more affordable, and Tasting India, an international platform for food policy advocacy, partnered with FSSAI at the event to share key takeaways of the report, which proposes scientific targets for what comprises a healthy diet derived from a sustainable food system.

The release event in India aimed to spark conversations on the key issues of the report among all stakeholders and deliberate on the five global strategies recommended in the report to bring about the 'Great Food Transformation’. These include shifting agricultural priorities towards more efficiently and sustainably producing high-quality, nutritious food, and securing policy commitments for nutrition and land use governance, which are some of the priority areas of engagement of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Dr Nafees Meah, South Asia Representative for International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), emphasized IRRI’s role as a research for development organization working with partners to transform the food and nutrition security landscape through the rice and rice-based agrifood systems.

“Rice is a very important crop in India. IRRI is working with country partners to provide optimal solutions for changing consumer preferences and nutritional requirements, climate resilience, resource scarcity and other issues that impact on those who depend on rice for food and livelihood,” he said. IRRI’s ongoing initiatives in nutritious and climate resilient rice varieties, sustainable farming practices and resource-efficient cultivation and mechanization can provide a pathway for an improved agri-food system in the country and throughout the region.

Launched earlier this year in Oslo, Norway, the EAT-Lancet Commission report on Food, Planet, Health, was authored by 37 international experts, including representatives from CGIAR sister organizations Bioversity International and International Food Policy Research Institute.

Policy-makers, development sector agencies, embassy representatives, farmers’ associations, food tech entrepreneurs, researchers and students attended the India event.

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