India’s Food Security Bill has potential to provide a benchmark for the rest of the world to follow
IDS and Oxfam India are today launching new research examining the issue of food justice in India.
With 46% of Indian children malnourished, this special issue of the flagship IDS Bulletin brings together the views of some of India's leading practitioners and academics on food and nutrition.
The IDS Bulletin is being launched at a conference in Delhi on 17–18 July attended by civil society, media and government representatives, along with agriculture, food security, nutrition and food rights experts.
Standing on the Threshold: Food Justice in India is a collection of 15 original articles that address key questions including how to protect marginalised people's rights to food, how to empower women and how to assess government commitments to reducing hunger. It hopes to provide different perspectives to feed into India's Food Security Bill as it currently progresses through parliament, as well as all related legislation.
Professor Lawrence Haddad, IDS Director and lead editor of the IDS Bulletin said:
'India is a unique nutrition case study – despite enormous growth in economic and political power, 46% of Indian children are malnourished. There is real frustration in India as to why this is and this new IDS Bulletin will shed light on this complex issue.
'India stands on the threshold of potentially the largest step toward food justice the world has ever seen, as the National Food Security Bill works its way through parliament. Although the Bill alone won’t fix India's food system, the world will be watching to see if it can provide a template for other countries to follow.'
Biraj Swain, Lead of Oxfam India's Food Justice Campaign and co-editor of the IDS Bulletin added:
'Food justice will not happen in India without recognising the harsh reality facing the agriculture sector. This IDS Bulletin reveals that the land rights of many are restrained by corporate interests and smallholder farmers play a crucial but forgotten role. A fair food system for India requires sound knowledge, transparent institutions and, most importantly, the political will of leaders within India and globally.'
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India is a unique nutrition case study – despite enormous growth in economic and political power, 46% of Indian children are malnourished.
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