Participants at a Poshan Mela held in Surendranagar, Gurajat, as part of the Poshan Pakhwada
Participants at a Poshan Mela held in Surendranagar, Gurajat, as part of the Poshan Pakhwada Twitter

Experts To Discuss Agri-Nutrition Action Plan To Take Forward Poshan Abhiyan

Participants will deliberate on the objectives of the POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment) Abhiyan, especially how to address malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies.

Outlook Web Bureau | Mar 10, 2019

With agriculture, livestock, dairy and fishery playing a key role in enhancing nutrition and reducing malnutrition among people, the Ministry of Women and Child Development is holding a day-long Agri-Nutrition Conference on March 15, 2019 in New Delhi that will see experts and top officials of ministries and departments linked to the Poshan Abhiyan, address the gathering.

Participants will deliberate on the objectives of the POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment) Abhiyan, especially how to address malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies.

An Agri-Nutrition convergence action plan is the need of the hour to accelerate the progress towards improving nutrition indicators. The conference, being held at the Ashok Hotel, is aimed at deciding the Agri-Nutrition convergence action plan in India with policy recommendations, the WCD Ministry said.

The plenary session will be chaired by Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, GoI, and the co-chair is Dr R.C. Panda, former Secretary, GOI and Member National Executive Committee, Poshan Abhiyan.

Rajesh Kumar, Joint Secretary, MoWCD & Mission Director, POSHAN Abhiyaan, will give the welcome address, Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, MoWCD, will speak on the Poshan Abhiyan. Shawn Baker, Director, Nutrition, Global Development, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMFG), Dr David Nabarro, former Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change and Dr Howarth Bouis, 2016 World Food Prize Laureate will also be addressing the conference. Dr Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog, GoI, will address a session on Need for Targetted Intervention on Agri-Nutrition.

The POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8th March 2018. in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. The focus of the Abhiyaan is to lay emphasis on the nutritional status of adolescent girls, pregnant women, lactating mothers and children from 0 to 6 years of age.

The first 1,000 days of a child are the most critical, which includes the nine months of pregnancy, six months of exclusive breastfeeding and the period from 6 months to 2 years, to ensure focused interventions on addressing under-nutrition. Timely intervention, besides increasing the birth weight, will also help reduce both Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR).

The Poshan Abhiyaan focuses on children in the age group of 0-6 years for their overall development. Anemia in young children, adolescent girls and women is also focussed upon under the Abhiyaan.

The target is to prevent and reduce Stunting in children (0- 6 years) from 34.4 percent, to 25 percent by 2022.

The conference is being held as part of the Poshan Pakhwada fortnight, that kicked off on March 8 across the country.