MUMBAI, December 3, 2010 - Food security in Asia is among the region's biggest challenges, and failing to address it would have wide-ranging consequences. However, through pragmatic practices and scientific advances, we can ensure steady and equitable access to food for all.
This was explained at the launch of the Asia Society and IRRI Task Force Report, Never an Empty Bowl: Sustaining Food Security in Asia, hosted in collaboration with JSW Foundation. Panelists Achim Dobermann, Deputy Director General for Research at IRRI, and Debashish Mitra, CEO of JSW Green, shared their expertise to uncover current obstacles in food security and recommend measures to overcome them.
Dobermann demonstrated the importance of the rice crop in lifting people out of poverty, making the case for producing more rice and changing how we grow it. He stressed the importance of raising the productivity of rice farmers, building resilience to climate change, focusing on rural development, and providing regional public goods for sustainable food security. Mitra expanded on this by presenting the food security dilemma through the prisms of affordability, availability, quality and quantity. He elucidated the need for improved distribution systems and diversified supply sources.
With such efforts and coordination between researchers, policy-makers and businesses, bowls in Asia can indeed get fuller.