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INDIA

PM expresses concern at malnutrition in country
New Delhi | Thursday, Feb 10 2011 IST
 
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today expressed concern at the serious malnutrition problem in the country, saying it had not received adequate attention and the government would soon bring a 'Right to Food' Act before Parliament.

Speaking at a meeting on food and health, Dr Singh said climate change may endanger food security in many developing nations and the issues of hunger and poverty were particularly topical as the world faced rising food prices. Addressing the International Policy Consultation, organised by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), he said leveraging agriculture for improving nutrition and health, was particularly important in developing countries. In India, about 52 per cent of the labour force depended on agriculture for the bulk of their incomes and studies showed some correlation between agricultural performance of a state and the nutritional status of its people. He said malnutrition remained a serious problem in India and many developing countries. The problem of hidden hunger ''that is, deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, Vitamin A and iodine'' was also severe.

''Nutrition is therefore a serious challenge that has not received the attention it truly deserves,'' he added. Malnutrition is not only a consequence of poverty, it is also a cause of poverty. The complexity of causes that underlie malnutrition calls for a multi-sectoral strategy to address the three key issues of availability, access and absorption, he added.

-- (UNI) -- 10DI61.xml

 

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