Rangareddy: ‘Food security, nutrition key for human survival’

Rangareddy: ‘Food security, nutrition key for human survival’

Two-day international conference and exhibition featuring women entrepreneurs kicked off at MANAGE

Rangareddy : With a view to adding wings to the dream of women entrepreneurs, the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) Hyderabad organised a two-day ‘International Conference’ themed ‘Food and Nutritional Security through Agriculture Ecosystem’ today at Rajendra Nagar campus.

The event was organised in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the International Potato Centre (CIP), and Harvest Plus. The programme witnessed the presence of Dr P Chandra Shekara, Director General, MANAGE; Dr Victor Afari-Sefa, Deputy Director Research (ICRISAT); Dr.Jonna Kane Potaka, Deputy Director General (IRRI); Dr.Samarendu Mohanty, Director Asia Region (CIP); Dr.Binu Cherian Country Manager, Harvest Plus; and Dr.Veenita Kumari, Deputy Director (Gender Studies), MANAGE.

The event aimed at bringing women entrepreneurs from different States and bankers together on a single platform where they could synchronise their ideas to amplify and explore business opportunities.

The women entrepreneurs, during the event, shared their success stories with the audience as well as the bankers about how they have turned the difficult time into opportunities through their sheer determination, and some even went on to extend gratitude to MANAGE for its timely help to realise their dream.

Underscoring the importance of food processing and nutritional security to prevent the human race from a health-rated catastrophe, Director General MANAGE Dr P Chandra Shekara, said in his inaugural address, “Food and nutritional security are not just goals but necessities for the safe survival of the people.”

While expressing that everyone should hold the responsibility to design and implement policies ensuring food and nutritional security for humans around the globe, he maintained that MANAGE is mainstreaming food and nutritional security initiatives in its agricultural extension programmes, such as training input dealers and agripreneurs under AC and ABC, PRVY-RAFTAAR, and digital agricultural schemes.

He was joined by Dr Jonna Kane Potaka, who stimulated the entrepreneurship idea saying, “We need to integrate our specialisations so as to address food and nutritional security.” She highlighted the ongoing path-breaking research activities in rice cultivation at IRRI and stressed the need for greater collaboration to usher in transformational change at the farmer level.

Dr Binu Cherian shared the importance of biofortified crops and the on-going research at Harvest Plus and stressed the need for a value chain approach to promote bio-fortified crops.

Dr Samarendu Mohanty stated that achieving food security is possible only through a multi-disciplinary approach to address issues like climate change, soil health, water management, and nutritional security. Dr Victor Afari-Sefa discussed the imperative of collective action to address food and nutritional security through sustainable food systems and improved seed systems coupled with data-based farming.

During the national-level ‘Women Agripreneurs Exhibition-2024’, stalls featuring the expertise of 25 women Agripreneurs from 10 States across the country were also put on display. The exhibition showcased different value-added products such as millets, honey, coconut, mushrooms, fruits, and spices.

As part of the conference, more than 90 research papers will be presented with seven important themes that include keynote papers by eminent speakers. Also, a compendium of papers presented at the conference was released.

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