‘Right to food is access to nutritious food too’

Shillong, 10 Sept, 2009: “Right to food does not only mean that one should not go hungry, but also to be able to get access to nutritious food,” Director of Agriculture, Meghalaya J Lyngdoh pointed out during the one-day consultation meet on ‘Right to Food’, organised by the People’s Right Forum, Meghalaya. Mr Lyngdoh also observed that only the developed countries could provide food security to their people.
Giving figures, he said that 2.3 million people in Meghalaya are directly dependent on agriculture. Lyngdoh also added that Meghalaya was a food deficient state and is dependent from other states for food supply.
He also informed that his Department is trying to promote double cropping from the single cropping system to enhance food production and meet the demands in the State.
“The Government and the NGOs should work together to ensure that right to food is addressed as enshrined by the Constitution,” urged Mr Lyngdoh.
Adrian Marbaniang of NERCORMP said his organisation funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is working in about 860 villages in West Khasi Hills and West Garo Hills to ensure food security for communities throughout the twelve months.
He said NERCORMP was also involved in facilitating land lease between the landowners and the farmers for at least 10 years so that the farmers can develop and sustain the land.
Mr Marbaniang also said that they were involved in increasing the purchasing power of the communities through Government schemes like the NREGA and also by providing the right price for the products.
Earlier, Sister Teresa Joseph of PRF said that her organisation was involved in helping farmers to be sustainable and in providing minimum support price for the produce of the farmers to get rid of middlemen.