There has been a substantial rise in the number of farm protests in the country in the last couple of months. Scores of farmers have hit the road demanding fair price of their produce and freedom from mounting debt and poverty. Ironically, this coincides with tonnes of food wasted at the post harvest and processing levels each day.
With such contrasting issues at hand, it all comes down to having a sustainable approach towards consumption and production, and that’s what the third edition of Tasting India Symposium aspires to achieve by way of dialogue and debates.
“Our mission is to make India a leading food destination. But for us to do that, we have to adopt a culture of sustainability. We must also talkabout zero hunger and discuss the situation of our farmers, and how can we make our consumption right,” said Stockholm-based Make in India evangelist Sanjoo Malhotra, co-founder of the symposium.
The four-day symposium, a global food advocacy initiative that kick-started Thursday has “Eat Right” as its underlying theme. It seeks to promote a 360-degree dialogue on our gastronomic heritage, culinary tourism potential, farm and agri-tech innovations and contributions to the philosophy of a sustainable food culture.
The second day of the symposium on Friday was marked by a keynote address by Amitabh Kant, chief executive officer of government think tank NITI Aayog. He stressed on the need to go organic, and back to our original flavoursome roots. “I’d recently visited the Dhantewada district of Chhattisgarh and I was amazed to see that all the farmers there were practising organic farming. They had all collectively raised their voice against fertilisers,” added Kant in his address. While most of symposium’s activities are modelled around workshops and knowledge sessions, the founders–Malhotra and food writer and blogger Sourish Bhattacharya–on Friday launched the Young Chefs Association for Sustainable India, comprising chefs such as Sujan Sarkar, Romy Gill, among others.