'We need pan political party commitment'

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Visakhapatnam, Jan 6: Father of India's Green Revolution M S Swaminathan says he will sumbit his recommendations on nutrition security to all political parties for incorporating in their manifestoes for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

''The National Coalition for Sustainable Nutrition Security in India, which I am heading, will come out with a draft manual containing several recommendations. We want to give it to all political parties before the next elections so that they can include them in their manifestoes, '' the eminent agricultural scientist said at the 95th Indian Science Congress here yesterday.

He said unless there was a political commitment for action on the nutrition front, the country would not be able to eliminate malnutrition. ''We need pan political party commitment,'' he added.

Pointing out that malnutrition led to lower productivity, he said providing clean drinking water and nutritious food were neccessary to tackle the malady. He suggested widening the food basket in the public distribution system to include other nutritious cereals such as ragi and bajra.

He said malnutrition can also be tackled by growing hoticultural plants, such as morinda and amla, which contained large micro nutrients.

Another suggestion was increasing the purchasing power of the people by generating more farm and non-farm employment from the available local resources.

One of the main target areas, he said, should be adolescent girls and pregnant women.

He said women now formed the biggest part of work force because of the ''feminisation of agriculture''.

UNI

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