The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is set to enter into a partnership with International Crops Research Institute (ICRISAT) on various programmes as well as research aimed at strengthening food, nutrition security as well as for the improvement of the livelihood of people in India to protect them against the ill effects of climate change.
Bishow Parajuli, WFP India representative and Country Director who had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dr. Jacqueline Hughes, Director-General, ICRISAT stated as follows –
“This is a strategic partnership between the WFP and ICRISAT as both are aligned by their vision of food security, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable communities. It comes on the day that the pioneering UN Food Systems Summit kicks off in New York. The increasing/frequent climate crises and shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic have worsened global hunger, threatening food security, nutrition and the livelihoods of millions.”
He further stated – “This partnership strengthens efforts to bring together science, knowledge and implementation frameworks to bolster food security, nutrition and livelihoods that are resilient to climate change.”
Dr. Hughes stated – “Climate-resilient food security, nutrition and livelihoods, especially for smallholder farmers and ecologically vulnerable communities are focus areas for ICRISAT and with this partnership, we aim to generate ideas and frameworks for policy positions relevant not just for India but regionally and globally.”
Dr. Hughes further added – “The latest IPCC report has sounded an alarm over the impact of climate change on agriculture and food security. A significant part of this partnership will be focused on vulnerability analysis at the state level in India and will be directed towards evolving a sustainable food systems approach.”
WFP in India and ICRISAT are expected to work together to promote research, advocacy and awareness-raising on traditional nutritious crops, in addition to undertaking food and nutritional security analysis and adaptation strategies, among other engagements.