Nutrition Smart Village Initiative
On November 11, 2021, Mr Narendra Singh Tomar (Union Agricultural Minister) flagged the smart village initiative under the Poshan Abhiyan. The primary motive of this initiative was to create awareness about the importance of nutrition among the people living in remote areas of India.
Children and women were taken into main consideration under this scheme because their number is the highest among the malnourished in the country. Also, women working on farms were prone to the risk of malnourishment thus under this scheme, they were taught some traditional recipes with high nutritional value.
In the initial phase, the government focused on transforming 75 villages in India and decided to add new villages soon to the list. The government also tried to promote local farmers to adopt Nutri farming via this scheme. Nutri farming simply refers to farming that involves the cultivation of a variety of nutrition-rich crops.
How does the Nutrition Smart Village initiative work?
The GOI is trying to achieve the development of a nutrition-smart village by dividing the villages under certain government authorities. Like the GOI has appointed the All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to promote this initiative in the designated 75 villages in India. 13 centres across the 12 states of India were allocated to AICRP and each centre has to adopt 5 villages. Thus the remaining villages come under the authority of ICAR.
The transformation of these dedicated 75 villages is being done by the leading agricultural scientists and science laureates. With the help of advanced technology and the latest innovation in the agricultural industry, the GOI is trying to transform these villages’ nutrition into smart and future-ready.
These authorities are creating awareness about nutrition among Indian villagers in the below ways.
- Nutrition camps: Nutrition camps are being organized in the village by the AICRP to educate the people living there about the importance of nutrition. The officials teach the women how to prepare a nutrition-rich diet.
- Food Packets: Under the nutrition smart village initiative nutrient-rich food packets are being distributed among the people. So that they can get all nutrients packed in one packet.
- Promoting Nutri-farming: Under this initiative, the government is promoting Nutri farming so that it allows farmers to feed that same nutrient-rich food to their families and to the nation.
Need for Nutrition Smart Village Initiative:
There is a great need for a nutrition-smart village initiative in India as India has one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world. A majority of the rural population of the nation is suffering from malnutrition and almost 44% of children below the age of 5 are underweight. This creates a need for a nutrition-smart village initiative in India. Malnutrition among children is one of the main reasons for many diseases and anaemia in women.
- Under this initiative, many villages are transforming and it has been observed that the malnutrition rates in these dedicated villages is been significantly decreasing.
- With recent advancements in technology, the cities of India are getting smart but this technology is getting into villages much more efficiently.
- Indian villages need to be smart as the internet connection is now reaching every village and thus with the help of the internet and the latest technology, Indian villages can get smarter and more productive.
- A majority of the population living in Indian villages is engaged in farming thus if these villages become smart and adopt new technology then the total agricultural production of the country can increase significantly.
- The agricultural sector of India contributes more than 19% of the total GDP of the nation thus if this sector gets efficient with smart villages then the economy of the country will significantly get better.