In a letter to agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, FAO director-general Jose Graziano da Silva has expressed the organisations willingness to work with the ministry to strengthen field efficiency and secure sustainability of smallholder farmers benefits.
Lauding Indias efforts in achieving a record production of more than 102 million tonne of rice, with particular gains in several eastern states, Silva said: FAO looks forward to working with you to accelerate the elimination of hunger, including by the potential in innovative states, for linking smallholder production with markets where the food for the public distribution system is sourced.
Indias unacceptably high level of child malnutrition, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh termed a national shame in January, and a poor show in the global hunger index have put pressure on the government to work towards maximising farm productivity and improving supplies. Despite the economy tripling in size between 1990 and 2005 to become Asia's third largest, 42% of children under five years are underweight nearly double the rate of sub-Saharan Africa, showed the 2011 Hunger and Malnutrition survey conducted by Nandi Foundation.
We look forward to supporting your successful efforts to contribute to food price stabilisation through policies, grain stocking analysis and innovations, and willingness to maintain and expand the openness of your information, FAOs Silva added.