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Need to popularize access to nutrient rich crops; industry to play key role: Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, GoI

Jul 19, 2023

  • Global market size for biofortification valued at USD 100.84 million in 2022; projected to reach USD 217.21 million by 2030: FICCI-PwC Report on Biofortification
  • Burden of malnutrition significant in India, leading to a shift in focus from ensuring food security to nutrition security 


NEW DELHI, 19 July 2023: Ms Maninder Kaur Dwivedi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Govt of India today emphasized that there is a need to popularize the access to nutrient rich crops, and industry to play a key role in this. “It is the corporates and industry which can turn nutrient rich crops into more varieties of ready to eat foods that are palatable, acceptable in line with evolving global taste,” she added.

Addressing the ‘Global Summit on Strengthening Food Systems for Nutrient-Rich Crops’, organized by FICCI, Ms Dwivedi stated that the process of fortification has been with us ever since public health was started and even before. “The urgency for it is now much clearer and stronger as our access to information is faster along with the impact of climate change. Biofortification is one way out wherein fortification not just post-harvest, but even before harvest,” she emphasized.

Mr Siraj Hussain, Advisor, FICCI & Former Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Govt of India stated that once biofortification becomes successful then the external fortification of wheat and rice may not be needed as biofortification will be a natural process.

Mr Hemendra Mathur, Chairman, FICCI Taskforce on Agri Start-ups said that it is time to think about how we can bring in nutritional security akin to food security. We need to build a more holistic solution by bringing policymakers, industry, startups, and R&D institutions together to drive the biofortification agenda as biofortification is cost effective and affordable, he added.

Mr Penjani Mkambula, Senior Cluster Lead, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) said, “Beyond health, there is an economic and environmental case for nutrient-rich crops. We should be talking about holistic approach toward nutrient-rich crops.”

Mr Tarun Vij, Country Director, GAIN; Mr Ravinder Grover, Regional Coordinator Asia, Harvest Plus; Mr Rajendra Jog, Country Head – Syngenta Foundation India (SFI) also shared their perspectives on strengthening food systems for nutrient-rich crops.

FICCI-PwC Knowledge Report ‘Biofortification- A Pathway to Improve India’s Nutritional Outcomes’ was released during the event.

Key highlights of the report: 

  • Over the last few decades, the burden of malnutrition has drawn significant attention in India at the national and state levels, leading to a shift in focus from ensuring food security to nutrition security.
  • Among the various strategies which have been adopted to address malnutrition, biofortification has emerged as an effective strategy to improve nutritional status at the population level without changing existing dietary patterns. The market trend for biofortification is increasing owing to rising demand for nutrient-enriched foods.
  • Globally, the market size for biofortification is valued at USD 100.84 million in 2022, which is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.9% from 2023 to 2030 reaching a value of USD 217.21 million by 2030. The rising biofortification market is expected to be fuelled by increasing consciousness of consumers towards health and growing investments in agricultural technology.
  • Various strategies have been adopted across the globe for scaling up biofortified food grain to address prevailing condition of malnutrition in the underdeveloped and developing world.
  • Marketing-supply-policy support-institutional strengthening (MSPI) strategy to achieve the goal of scaling up biofortification is the need of the hour.
  • Market drive for sustainable growth is critical and can be achieved through solutions such as direct farm gate purchase, increase consumer awareness, proper labelling and packaging; while the supply drive can be strengthened through improving farmer acceptance and awareness, developing a robust value chain and a brand differentiator through logo to label biofortified foods.

 

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