What’s the challenge?
Much of India’s rural population suffers from malnutrition due to micronutrient deficiencies. India’s rates of childhood stunting and wasting as well as anemia in both women and children are among the highest in the world. Such trends signal the country’s urgent need to refocus agricultural policy to address contemporary nutritional challenges. Staple grain fundamentalism has constrained the ability of agricultural policies to achieve positive nutrition outcomes. The food security challenge has evolved in India and throughout much of the developing world. It is no longer about making enough calories available, but rather about enhancing food diversity to address malnutrition in its many dimensions.
How does TARINA address this challenge?
TARINA aims to redirect agricultural policy away from staple grain fundamentalism toward a much broader food systems focus, which considers the need to build better connections between factors that influence agricultural production and factors that influence nutrition. More specifically, it focuses on agricultural pathways for enhancing the rural poor’s year-round access to affordable, diverse and high-quality foods that are rich in micronutrients. This is achieved through the project’s three broad objectives to:
- Provide technical assistance in redesigning agricultural projects to ensure nutrition outcomes at scale.
- Provide assistance and evidence for policy reform that enhances diet quality at affordable prices.
- Build capacity to design and implement nutrition-sensitive agricultural programs and policies.
As part of the initiative to support these objectives, TARINA provides field-based, technical support to redesign agricultural and rural development initiatives implemented by non-governmental organizations and development partners in Bihar, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. It also actively engages with the government and other stakeholders, both at the state and national levels, on strategic policy issues. Furthermore, TARINA has established a Center of Excellence in New Delhi to provide technical assistance, generate evidence and build capacity of partner institutions for the design and implementation of nutrition-sensitive agriculture in India and beyond.