As per the available data and projections, about 870 million people go hungry every day around the world. It is also projected that the population would cross nine billion populations by 2050 and the global agricultural production should be expanded by 60 percent of the present to meet the burgeoning global population food needs. For this, agro-ecological interventions are must for bringing uncultivated lands under cultivation and improving yields. However with the urbanization and land degradation due to climate change and human interventions, for the food and nutritional security in developing countries like India, a sustainable institutional and policy reform with increased investment are needed. There are reports available that the horticulture is having enormous possibility for increasing the food and nutritional security and the tropical fruits being the forefront. The fruits with all the available minerals and vitamins are the potential candidates for achieving nutritional security. For this, the institutions (research institutes) and the policy makers should lay out a defined approach for addressing and meeting the food and nutritional security. While the research institutes would be working out for the development of suitable varieties which can be grown under abiotic stress conditions, the policy interventions from the policy institutes should be worked out on developing policies for bringing the uncultivated lands under cultivation, marketing facilities and investment opportunities. The simple interventions like making unproductive orchards, productive, following intercropping options etc. are few of the policy interventions on farm for increasing the area and production of fruit crops. Like these, I would like to propose to consortia based approach for the development of abiotic stress tolerant plant varieties by phenotyping the germplasm for the abiotic stress tolerant traits and the development of necessary policy interventions for increasing the production, marketing and making available fruits at affordable prices and packs to meet the food and nutritional security in the developing world. At the science forum 2013, I am looking forward for the necessary inputs for the formulation of the project along with the potential partners.
PS: Science Forum 2013 – Early Career Scientists Submission