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On FAO’s 75th anniversary, Prime Minister Modi talks about India’s anti-malnutrition movement – Reuters




Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday issued a 75 rupee commemorative coin to mark the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which he said had seen India’s struggle up close against malnutrition.

Prime Minister Modi began his speech by congratulating all those working to end malnutrition, around the world. “In India, our farmers, agricultural scientists, Anganwadi and ASHA workers are leading the movement against malnutrition,” he said.

However, he said, lack of education, lack of information, unavailability of pure water, lack of hygiene were among the reasons India failed to get the results she expected from her fight against malnutrition. He said that when he had the opportunity to serve the country in 2014, he went ahead with an integrated and holistic approach. “We are taking an important step in our fight against malnutrition as we are now promoting the production of crops rich in nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, etc.,” he said.

On the issue of famine and malnutrition during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister said India has provided a free ration to 800 million poor people in the past eight months.

PM Modi also dedicated 17 newly developed bio-fortified varieties of eight crops to the nation on World Food Day, which is observed on Friday. “Before 2014, only one variety of biofortified crops was available. However, today farmers are getting 70 biofortified varieties of various crops, ”he said.

Speaking about recently introduced farm laws, which sparked protests from farmers and opposition parties, he said the laws were a “ significant step ” in improving the country’s agricultural sector and increased income for farmers.

“Empowering Indian farmers will further strengthen the country’s fight against malnutrition. I am convinced that the growing coordination between India and FAO will give new impetus to this mission, ”Prime Minister Modi said in concluding his speech.

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