Just Released – India’s Phytonutrient Report: A Snapshot of Fruits and Vegetables Consumption, Availability and Implications for Phytonutrient Intake
February 4, 2016
A report on “India’s Phytonutrient Report: A Snapshot of Fruits and Vegetables Consumption, Availability and Implications for Phytonutrient Intake”, authored by Arpita Mukherjee, Souvik Dutta and Tanu M. Goyal was launched on February 4, 2016 in New Delhi. The report was published by the Academic Foundation. ICRIER and Academic Foundation jointly organised the report release.
The report was jointly released by Dr. S. K. Malhotra, Agriculture and Horticulture Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India, and Dr. Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Chairperson, ICRIER, followed by a presentation of the key findings and a panel discussion. The panel discussion was chaired by Dr. P. K. Joshi, Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and included Capt. Pawanexh Kohli, Chief Advisor, National Centre for Cold-Chain Development, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Government of India; Ishi Khosla, Clinical Nutritionist, The Weight Monitor; Mr. Bejon Misra, Founder Head, Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) India; Mr. Pravesh Sharma, Former Managing Director, Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium; Mr. Vinay Kumar, Vice President – Technical & Regulatory, Amway India Enterprise, Dr. Souvik Dutta, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore as panelists. The event was attended by representatives from government, industry, media, think tanks and academia.
This report takes up from a pioneering study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on diet, nutrition and prevention of chronic diseases that has recommended that a daily intake of at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables helps prevent diet- related chronic diseases and micronutrient deficiencies. It is scientifically established that fruits and vegetables are essential sources of phytonutrients, which promote a range of health benefits. India is one the largest producers of fruits and vegetables in the world. It is also one of the largest consumer markets, with food and grocery having the largest share in the consumption basket. However, a number of studies show that Indian consumers do not consume the WHO recommended quantity of fruits and vegetables. This report, based on secondary information analysis and a survey of 1,001 consumers across different states in India, tries to understand the production and availability of fruits and vegetables, consumption patterns, extent of shortfall in consumption, reasons for shortfall, implications of such shortfall for consumer health and well-being, among others. It also highlights policy issues related to food safety and standards, use of pesticides, organic products, food supply chain, foreign investment in retail, food pricing, and food supplements and nutraceuticals, among others. In India, the policy focus has been on malnutrition among poor. While this should continue to be the focus, a developing country with abundant of young and educated workforce in middle to high income groups also should focus on the health of its youth.
The uniqueness of the report is that on the one hand, it will enable the businesses to understand the production and supply chain of fruits and vegetables and the policy environment; on the other hand, they will have a complete knowledge about Indian consumers.
The link to the brochure of the report and executive summary is given below.