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WFP, ICRISAT to partner on climate-resilient food security, nutrition, and livelihoods in India

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NEW DELHI/HYDERABAD: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) have entered a partnership to bolster climate-resilient food and nutrition security and livelihoods in India.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today by Bishow Parajuli, WFP India Representative and Country Director, and Dr. Jacqueline Hughes, Director General, ICRISAT, timed to coincide with the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.

“The increasing climate crisis and shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic have worsened global hunger, threatening the food security, nutrition, and livelihoods of millions, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable communities. By working together, we hope to bring science, knowledge, and implementation frameworks to these communities and help bolster their food security, nutrition, and livelihoods to be more resilient to climate change,” Parajuli said.

“Climate-resilient food security, nutrition, and livelihoods, especially for smallholder farmers and ecologically-vulnerable communities, is one of the focus areas for ICRISAT, and with this partnership, we aim to come up with ideas, and frameworks for policy creation relevant not just to India but regionally and globally,” Dr. Hughes added.

“The latest IPCC report has sounded an alarm bell over the impact of climate change on agriculture and food security. A significant part of this partnership will be focused on vulnerability analysis at the state-level in India and will be directed towards evolving a sustainable food systems approach,” she added. Under the partnership, WFP in India and ICRISAT will work on joint action research, advocacy, and awareness-raising, promoting traditional nutritious crops, undertaking food and nutrition security analysis, and adaptation strategies among other engagements.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

ICRISAT, a non-profit, non-political international organization, conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide range of partners around the world. Covering 6.5 million square kilometers of land in 55 countries, the semi-arid tropics are home to over 2 billion people, with almost 650 million of these the poorest of the poor. ICRISAT and its partners help empower these poor people to overcome poverty, hunger, and a degraded environment through better agriculture.