Food and Nutrition

Featured Articles
December 13, 2019 A study highlights the need to scale down the export of rice, maize, buffalo meat and other items to conserve groundwater in India.
A farmer uses a hosepipe to irrigate crops at her farm in Nilgiris mountains, Tamil Nadu (Image: Hamish John Appleby for IWMI, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
December 11, 2019 A study calls for solutions that can benefit farmers and the environment and positively impact India's nutrition indicators.
Rice field in Karnataka (Image: Guldem Ustun, Flickr Commons, CC BY 2.0)
October 24, 2019 An intern with Watershed Organisation Trust narrates his field experience from the villages of Madhya Pradesh, where farmers are using farm ponds to conserve water.
A farm pond constructed by Sheshrao Dhurve in Karaghat Kamti village of Madhya Pradesh
October 1, 2019 Deconstructing the traditional narrow engineering based policy discourses around floods and droughts and connecting them to social and cultural realities is the need of the hour in India.
Water talk Series at Mumbai (Image Source:Tata Insitute of Social Sciences)
September 30, 2019 The recently concluded 4 day conference in Bangalore looked at the current state of global water resource challenges & future pathways to achieve the SDGs, while ensuring equity in access to all.
Charles Vorosmarty, Chair, COMPASS Initiative, Water Future at the opening plenary on advanced water system assessments to address water security challenges of the 21st century.
September 28, 2019 A women's collective in western Madhya Pradesh protects crop varieties bred by indigenous farming communities.
This variety of bajra has extended whiskers on its seeds when on the plant. This prevented the birds from eating it. Growing bajra in Pandutalav became possible only when Majlis could lay its hands on this variety. (Image: Majlis)
Women hold the key to dietary diversity
A study finds that women's control over income and better decisionmaking power can go a long way in improving dietary diversity and tackling malnutrition in rural India. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 6 months 3 weeks ago

Evidence world over shows that small scale agricultural production does very little to deal with malnutrition and food insecurity among rural poor.

Empowering women to improve nutritional outcomes (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Forests, the fast disappearing treasure troves of forest dwellers
Rapidly disappearing forests are not only a threat to the biodiversity, but spell death knell for the livelihoods of forest dwellers who depend on them for food and survival. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 7 months ago

Forests are disappearing at a fast rate in India.

Dried mahua flowers (Image Source: Pankaj Oudhia via Wikimedia Commons)
Who is the thirstiest of them all?
A study evaluating the water use efficiency of sugarcane, curry banana and paddy among borewell irrigating farmers finds paddy to be the most inefficient and thirstiest of the three. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 7 months 2 weeks ago

Agriculture uses as high as 85 percent of the available water in India of which the irrigated area accounts for nearly 48.8 percent of the 140 million hectare (mha) of agricultural land, while the remaining 51.2 percent is rainfed.

Paddy, a thirsty crop (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Gendered impacts of COVID-19
The pandemic affects rural women disproportionately with damaging impacts on their employment, health and security. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months 2 weeks ago

COVID-19 has unleashed one of the greatest human tragedies of the contemporary era demonstrating our fragility and has laid bare severe and systemic inequalities at all levels. It provides several lessons in the conduct of all aspects of human personality, professional, societal, and institutional lives globally.

The time-use survey indicates that women are now spending more time on unpaid domestic and care work (Image: Sunita, Pixabay)
Agriculture and food security challenges amid Covid-19
The pandemic has bared our vulnerabilities and shaken our collective consciousness to focus on agriculture and rural economy. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months ago

India has seen large scale rural-urban migration of people trying to escape rural distress in the last few decades.

Women farmers produce vegetables through innovative farming practices in Banka, Bihar. They can sell their produce at regional markets, and earn a better income for their families. (Image: USAID, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Think, before you have your cup of tea!
Women workers from tea plantations in India are overworked and underpaid. Voiceless, without any rights at the workplace, and their health compromised, they continue to suffer in silence. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 8 months 3 weeks ago

India is the second largest tea producer in the world, with production at 1.2 million metric tons

Women workers at a tea plantation in Assam (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Amphan’s impact on farming and livelihood in Sunderbans
Millions of people's homes were swept away and farmlands destroyed during cyclone Amphan in Sunderbans. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months 4 weeks ago

The Amphan cyclone has disfigured the lives of people living in the Sundarbans. Houses have been torn apart, farms have been filled with brackish water making the land unsuitable for farming and betel leaves have been destroyed. People in the Sundarbans are in a life-threatening situation with makeshift shacks to live in and no means to earn a living.

Betel (popularly used in paan) plantation is a major occupation in the Sundarbans. Pulak Bhakta is assessing the damage done to his plantation right after Amphan. The plantation is spread over two and a half bigha of land. According to Pulak, the total loss he has suffered is around INR 3 lakhs. Pulak already bears the burden of a loan which he had taken to set up his plantation. His future seems uncertain and bleak now. (Image: WaterAid/ Subhrajit Sen)
Surviving in uncertainty
Gram Vikas stepped up to ensure access to adequate food and to strengthen dignified income-earning opportunities for the most vulnerable households. Amita Bhaduri posted 10 months ago

Uncertainty - the pervasive feeling that all of us have been living with from the middle of March 2020. It's the same in our partner villages in Odisha and Jharkhand. Communities we work with have been facing and overcoming uncertainties all through their lives. But this time, the crisis has put unusual stress on their abilities to cope.

Image: Ajaya Behera
Boosting rural livelihoods using agriculture and MGNREGA amidst Covid-19
Strengthening farm and non-farm livelihoods can pave the way for food and nutritional security. Amita Bhaduri posted 10 months 1 week ago

As the Covid-19 pandemic was leaving deep scars around the globe, it forced governments to take measures to protect citizens and ensure food security for its people. In India, initially, it looked as if the remote rural areas would skirt the pandemic.

MGNREGA can play an important role in integration of migrant labour in the rural economy (Image: Ashutosh Nanda)
Flood threat looms amid Covid-19 in Bihar
Can Bihar deal with the double whammy of Covid-19 and the annual floods? Amita Bhaduri posted 10 months 2 weeks ago

Bihar’s annual floods are right around the corner and there is a fear that the flood hazard will collide with the Covid-19 pandemic and amplify it in a manner that emergency responses to both will get disrupted. The state’s strategy to mitigate the effects of flooding needs to be updated in light of the deadly pandemic.

An aerial view of flood affected areas in Kosi river, Bihar on August 28, 2008 (Image: Publi.Resource.Org; Flickr Commons (CC BY 2.0))