‘Food scientists must think of doubling agri income’

‘Food scientists must think of doubling agri income’

December 10, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: Padma Shri Dr. V. Prakash, former Director of Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysuru, said: “The food scientists should ponder over doubling the income in agriculture sector.”

He was delivering Dr. M.S Swaminathan Lecture Series of Padma Awardees and also Dr. Parpia Memorial Lecture on the topic ‘Fusion of Agriculture, Food Science, Innovations with Industries for India’s Leadership in Sustainable Future Foods and Nutrition Security,’ organised as part of the third day of ninth International Food Convention (IFCoN-2023), at IFTTC auditorium, CFTRI on Saturday.

Dr. Prakash covered the plethora of thoughts encompassing the growth of Food Sciences in the country after Independence and how today’s science and technology with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Internet of Things (IoT) will take the quantum leap to next orbit.

He also focussed on the plight of marginal farmers with low yields and cooperative movement that can synergise to build the like of dairy sector cooperatives and take the country forward by food valorisation. The double burden of malnutrition and dietary diversification have all the solutions at local levels and need networking and working together to make India a sustainable country in the production and productivity of Agriculture. The focus should be on adapting to climate change and recalibrating science and technology, so that climate change does not deter India’s race to be a                                      developed country.

Dr. Prakash offered several solutions with scientific examples to combat climate change. Traditional foods that have survived 5000 years are a great example to emulate and need urgent attention, he added.

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Recalling CFTRI’s service to the nation during Tsunami in 2004 and also the Institute’s contribution to the Midday Meal Scheme of Govt. of India, just as two examples of science reaching society, Dr. Prakash said that sustainable Development Goals have to be delivered by 2030 and each sector has to fulfil its promise to United Nations system of reaching the goals by 2030 and called upon the scientists in the food sector to work hard to achieve the same.

He also pointed out how the West is calling India as a ‘Diabetes Capital’ for having 11.3 percent diabetic population, while USA has 11.6 percent population with diabetes and 50 percent with obesity against 20 percent in India, which is one of the main causes for diabetes. The West with nearly 50 percent obese population is the real and future capital of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) like BP, Cardiac ailments and Diabetes, he said.


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