Rising up to the Grand Challenge: MSSRF work featured in BIRAC-Gates Foundation publication

A garden that tells you where to reach for nutrition, in Palghar district, Maharashtra is becoming one of the game-changers in agriculture-nutrition in India. For one component of the Grand Challenge Initiative funded by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and the Gates Foundation, MSSRF has been working to address malnutrition through the underlying cause of agriculture, gender and biofortification.

The project aims to increase dietary diversity among communities in four agro-ecological zones of India through Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture with focus on highly malnourished or vulnerable districts. The publication by Grand Challenges India, that focuses on various thematic areas including maternal and child health, nutrition, sanitation and agriculture. An interestingly captured photo-intensive document, ‘From the CANVAS Improving Public Health & Beyond’ shares rich insights from the field where the work is being implemented across India.

MSSRF is working in partnership to develop and demonstrate location-specific nutri-rich gardens at Krishi Vigyan Kendras in Palghar District, Maharashtra; Kanpur Dehat, Uttar Pradesh; Thiruvallur District, Tamil Nadu and Jeypore, Odisha – all of which are in four different ecosystems. The aim is to provide an integrated pathway to nutrition with quality planting material to farmers, nutrition awareness and horticultural remedies for malnutrition. It intends to improve Diet Diversity Score of farm households up to 60% from the base level.

The publication notes that “agriculture sector in India is expected to generate better momentum in the next few years and will continue to remain one of the most important areas of work for Grand Challenges India.”