Topic of the Day – Zero Hunger Programme

The Zero Hunger Programme is a current topic that is important from the UN and its functioning point of view. This is relevant to several UPSC subjects such as international relations, social issues, sustainable development, economy, etc. In this article, we talk about the details of this programme for the IAS exam.

Global Nutrition Report – 2016 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that India is lagging behind in tackling malnutrition effectively. There have been efforts by the government, over the years to combat malnutrition in the nation. 53% of Indian children were malnourished in 1990, while the numbers have fallen to 40% in 2015. However, due to lack of multi-sectoral coordination, the government has not been able to address the problem of malnutrition efficiently. The ‘Zero Hunger Programme’ is one such initiatives of the government which tries to address the intergenerational and multifaceted nature of malnutrition through sectoral coordination.

In sync with India’s Sustainable Development Goal to end hunger by 2030, three districts namely Thane in Maharashtra, Koraput in Odisha and Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh have initiated India’s ambitious ‘Zero Hunger’ programme through interventions in the farm sector on the ‘World Food Day’ (16th of October 2017). The three districts will act as a model for unified approach dealing with malnutrition and hunger by adopting apt horticultural and agricultural practices. This programme will work in addition to government’s other plans to make India free from malnutrition by 2022 and attaining ‘Zero Hunger’ (SDG-2)

  • The programme is initiated by Indian Council of Agricultural Research in alliance with Indian council of Medical Research (ICMR), M. S. Swaminathan Research foundation and the Biotechnology Industry Research Council (BIRAC). The programme will also involve the concerned state governments.
  • The programme lays focus upon nutrition, health and agriculture in a symbiotic manner for developing a unified approach in dealing with malnutrition and hunger,.

What will the Zero Hunger Programme do?

  • The programme will
  1. Organise farming systems for nutrition.
  2. Set up genetic gardens for bio-fertilized plant crops.
  3. Initiate Zero Hunger training.
  • Intensive training programme will be organised in each district to identify the nutrition related problems in each of the districts.
  • Satisfactory methods for measuring the impact of intervention will be ensured under the programme.


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