Sustainable food security in India—Domestic production and macronutrient availability

Hannah Ritchie, David Reay, Peter Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

India has been perceived as a development enigma: Recent rates of economic growth have not been matched by similar rates in health and nutritional improvements. To meet the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG2) of achieving zero hunger by 2030, India faces a substantial challenge in meeting basic nutritional needs in addition to addressing population, environmental and dietary pressures. Here we have mapped—for the first time—the Indian food system from crop production to household-level availability across three key macronutrients categories of ‘calories’, ‘digestible protein’ and ‘fat’. To better understand the potential of reduced food chain losses and improved crop yields to close future food deficits, scenario analysis was conducted to 2030 and 2050. Under India’s current self-sufficiency model, our analysis indicates severe shortfalls in availability of all macronutrients across a large proportion (>60%) of the Indian population. The extent of projected shortfalls continues to grow such that, even in ambitious waste reduction and yield scenarios, enhanced domestic production alone will be inadequate in closing the nutrition supply gap. We suggest that to meet SDG2 India will need to take a combined approach of optimising domestic production and increasing its participation in global trade.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2018


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