Madya Pradesh, also known as India’s ‘soya basket’, is facing large scale malnutrition, mostly affecting rural women and children.
How to transform farmer livelihoods
Good Farming - Good Food, a new Public Private Partnership was launched in September 2019 to help farming communities achieve better nutritional outcomes. The programme’s specific goals are:
- Enhance farmer resilience
- Improve farm productivity
- Encourage crop diversification
- Educate families about healthy diets
- Integrate soya products into government nutrition programmes
Speaking at the event to launch Good Farming - Good Food, Dr Nico Roozen, Honorary President of Solidaridad Network, said,
Leveraging agriculture for nutrition security has the potential to curb malnutrition and transform the livelihood of farmers in Madhya Pradesh.”
Nico Roozen, Solidaridad Network’s Honorary President, at the launch of the Good Farming – Good Food programme in Madya Pradesh, India
The programme is designed to reach 50,000 Madya Pradesh farmers and their families. It will encourage farmers to share best practices with each other, especially in crop diversification and better market access. This will make them more resilient and increase the availability of vegetables to local people.
Network of female entrepreneurs
At the same time, the programme seeks to stimulate female entrepreneurship by setting up a so-called ‘nutri-sakhi’ network: women will be trained to deliver information about healthy foods to rural communities. The focus will be on soya as it is protein-rich, affordable and widely available. For the same reason, soya will be incorporated in state nutrition programmes like the Mid-day Meal Scheme, which provides school-age children with a healthy lunch.
Good Farming – Good Food programme partners and participants at the launch in September 2019
Programme partners include Dutch government, local business
The 3.5 million Euro project is jointly funded by the Dutch government, Samarth Kisan Producer Company, leading Indian soya business Vippy Industries, and Dutch multinational East-West Seed, recently ranked number one in the Access to Seeds index. India’s Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering is its knowledge partner.
Delivering on UN Sustainable Development Goals
The programme will deliver on a range of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). These include SDG 2 for ending hunger, of course, but also SDG 5 for gender equality; SDG 12 for responsible consumption and production, SDG 13 for climate action and SDG 17 for strong partnerships to achieve the goals.
Mr Siebe Schuur, Agriculture Counsellor to the Netherlands Embassy in India, said,
Our government is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and we want to work with India towards these targets. The Good Farming – Good Food project is an excellent example of the kind of partnership India and the Netherlands can successfully work on together.”