Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has stressed the need to increase the production of nutritive food to overcome the problems of malnutrition and hidden hunger. Addressing the 58th Convocation of Indian Agricultural Research Institute, IARI in New Delhi today, Mr Naidu said, while the food grain production has increased, still the alarming prevalence of malnutrition and hidden hunger are matters of grave concern.
He said, more than 80 per cent of adolescents in India suffer from hidden hunger and the problem has to be addressed on a war footing. The Vice President expressed happiness that significant progress has been made by IARI in developing high yielding, disease-resistant and nutrient-rich varieties of crops. He said climate change has emerged as a serious threat to agriculture. Climate change-induced rise in temperature and changes in rainfall patterns are adversely affecting agriculture.
He said, many a time, the terminal rains are creating havoc by destroying the crops ready for harvest. Mr Naidu said, assessing methane emissions from paddy plants is one of the most outstanding achievements of IARI, which can be helpful in protecting India’s interests in climate change negotiations.
He expressed happiness that the Pusa Basmati varieties dominate the Basmati cultivation in India and are helping in securing higher production and profit to the farmers, apart from foreign exchange worth 33 thousand crore rupees annually to the country. The Vice President said advanced crop varieties and technologies developed by IARI have been important in strengthening the Indian economy and prosperity of farmers.