Thursday, 29 September 2011

The goal of eliminating HIV/AIDS

The goal of eliminating HIV/AIDS infections among children and ensuring that infected mothers stay healthy throughout pregnancy and after delivery can be met by the 2015 deadline with sufficient political commitment and adequate resources, the head of the United Nations agency spearheading the global response to the pandemic said today.
“Mother by mother, clinic by clinic, and country by country we can reach pregnant women with HIV services to ensure their babies are born free from HIV and to improve their own health,”
According to UNAIDS, an estimated 90 per cent of new HIV infections among children occur in 22 countries across sub-Saharan Africa and India.
A global plan to eliminate new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keep their mothers healthy and alive was launched during the UN high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS in New York in June. It was developed by a global team co-chaired by UNAIDS and United States President’s Emergency Plan on AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Representatives from the 22 most affected countries will meet in South Africa next week to assess country plans. The two-day meeting will focus on country gap analysis and how to boost momentum in the campaign against HIV infections among children.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Train thousands of school principals,to benefit million of children

The United Nations educational agency has embarked on a new partnership to train thousands of school principals, beginning in Kenya, Ghana and India, that has the potential to benefit up to 10 million children in the future.
new platforms for cooperation the world needs today to achieve education for all
The agency added that the multiplier effect of the programme has the potential to benefit thousands of teachers and up to 10 million children.
Under the initiative,leadership and professional development  improve the skills and knowledge of the school principals.
The 50 to 60 trainers will be further supported to train 500 principals in Ghana, Kenya and India.
During the subsequent three years, the 500 trained principals will in turn be responsible for training all the beneficiaries.
67 million children around the world have no access to education .

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are taking an enormous toll in human health

Lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are taking an enormous toll in human health and economic development on the Pacific islands, the leaders of two countries in the region told the United Nations today, calling for accelerated efforts to defeat the problem.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Seed is critical input for long-term sustained growth of agriculture.

The foodgrain production in 2010-11 reached a record level of 241.6 million tonnes. Among crops, record production was achieved in the case of wheat, pulses, oil seeds and cotton. 

Elaborating the farm growth further, that during the quarter ending March 31 this year, farm output achieved an impressive growth rate of 7.5 per cent. On a yearly basis, Agriculture and Allied Sector grew at 6.6% in the last fiscal.

There will be more competitive demand on land and water, progressive fragmentation of land holdings, degrading natural resource base and emerging concerns of climate change. We also have to look for sustaining agricultural growth against the backdrop of limited availability of natural resources especially cultivable land. Thus, increase in agricultural production would have to emanate only by enhancement in farm productivity from existing cultivated area. 

Low productivity still remains a major concern for Indian agriculture. While our yields compare poorly to global average, we also have significant yield gap between the ‘optimal’ yield and actual field productivity. There is also large difference in crop yields across states and regions. Low farm productivity often results in cascading effect on the farmers both in terms of increasing cost of production and less farm remuneration. 

Enhancement of agricultural productivity can come from deploying location-specific high yielding crop varieties, balanced fertiliser doses, effective transfer of technology, increasing water use efficiency, timely supply of quality inputs, and capacity building through extensive agricultural extension. Towards this direction, this Ministry is implementing various developmental schemes to cater to the needs of farming community. Flagship schemes like Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), National Food Security Mission (NFSM), National Horticulture Mission (NHM) etc. have already been instrumental in enhancing farm productivity and increasing crop production. 

Seed is critical input for long-term sustained growth of agriculture. In India, more than four-fifths of farmers rely on farm-saved seeds, resulting in low production and seed replacement rate and Government is seized of this issue and addressing the same, through various programmes/schemes. The focus has to be on increasing the Seed Replacement Rate, introducing better high yielding varieties, strengthening of infrastructure facilities for production and distribution of quality seeds and taking up more and more villages under the Seed Villages Programme. 

Bringing green Revolution to the eastern region scheme aims at improving productivity of rice based cropping system in selected states, ‘Integrated development of 60,000 pulse villages in rainfed areas’ is focussing at attaining self sufficiency in production of pulses. Five more initiatives have been launched pursuant to Union Budget-2011-12 for enhancing availability of fodder, vegetables, nutria-cereals, oil palm and protein supplements. 

However, we have to be more vigilant in ensuring that advantages gained so far are sustained in future too. During this kharif season, although higher area coverage is being witnessed in Rice, Oilseeds and Cotton crops, there is a decreasing trend in both Pulses and Coarse Cereals. I would like to urge upon the States to take a note of this situation. 

Soil health is crucial for ensuring farm productivity. However, over the years marginal productivity of soil has been witnessing a declining trend. Thus, high priority needs to be accorded to soil health and nutrient management. While nutrient management primarily focus on bringing back soil fertility, ecological sustainability and overall cost effectiveness also needs equal attention. Adoption of multi-nutrient carriers that are soil and crops specific and customised on the basis of soil testing is emerging as a viable alternative to conventional approach. Besides, organic nutrient sources like farm yard manure, crop residue, vermi compost, bio fertilisers, green manure etc. can also play a key role in adopting eco-friendly agriculture. 

Minimum Support Prices (MSP) is an effective instrument for ensuring remunerative prices to farmers. Besides, to protect growers from distress sale in event of bumper crop of agricultural and horticultural commodities, which are generally perishable, Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) is also being implemented in some States.
Sustaining agricultural growth through mobilization of higher investment in agriculture, augmenting and bridging yield gaps, enhancing farm income, ensuring livelihoods and providing safety net to the farmers. However, one size fits all policy may not be of much help.

Malnutritions Soil Breeds Malnutrition Humans

90% of food requirement will have to come from the soil .land is becoming diminishing resource for  agriculture,food security will depend upon the sustainable management of land resources ,conservation of prime farmlands for agriculture .National commission on farmers has emphasised the need for replacing the 1894 land acquisition law with a 21st century legislation that safeguards the interest of the farmers and farming .
A high level panel of experts set up under my chairmanship in 2010 by the UN Committee on food security has recently submitted to the CFS a report on land tenure and international investments in agriculture ,potential impact of acquisitions particularly on Africa ,on food security .It has been estimated that 50million to 80mln hectors of farmlands in developing countries has been the subject of negations by international investors in recent years Africa widely know as HOT SPOT for endemic hunger.
American farmers will for the first time harvest during 2011 more maize for ethanol production that for food or feed .In Europe about 50% repressed is likely to be used for biological production .the plant animal man food chain will need several times more land for production a calorie of meat as compared to a calorie of cereal or vegetable .

Price of rice and wheat observed in 2008 was largely due to steep increase in the price of fossil fuels
Diversion of production of farmlands for fuel production in industrial countries ,increasing consumption of meat on the part of the affluent and loss of land to roads ,houses and industries are likely to lead  acute food security .
Food security first should be the motto of the land bill ,in Brazil where such investments provide a win win situation for both food and energy security .
In 1981 member states of the FAO adopted a word soil charter ,containing a set of principles for the optimum use of land resources and for the improvement of their productivity as well as conservation
IN May 2011at a conference at the institute of advanced sustainability studies ,Potsdam ,germany , a global soil forum was formed for enhancing investment  in soil resources assessment and management .
Over 15 years ago a glogal water partnership was formed to stimulate attention and action at the national and  global levels on sustainable water security ,it was conferred .
GWP was formed to stimulate attention and action at the national regional and global levels on sustainable water security .it was conferred the status of an international organisation of a GSP to work closely with the GWP is timely .
Soil anaemia also breeds human anaemia or what we call  malnutritions soil breeds malnutrition humans, micronutrient deficiency in the soil results in micro nutrient malnutrition in people ,the critical role soil plays in food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation has to be widely understood.
,soil carbon banks represent in a sustainable and equitable manner needs a new political vision ,which can be expressed through the proposed land bill the year 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the rio earth summit and the 40th anniversary of the Stockholm conference on the human environment .