DBT, Gates Foundation push agriculture research projects focused on nutrition

Five agri-nutrition awards under the Grand Challenges India initiative that were announced recently, are a step in the direction of promoting improved inclusive agriculture for women and children


Establishing a connect between agriculture, nutrition and health.

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology of India, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched Grand Challenges India (GCI) on March 20, 2013 in New DelhiBiotechnology Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) as the implementing agency for the Grand Challenges framework has announced the first initiative under Grand Challenges India, program titled "Achieving Healthy Growth through Agriculture and Nutrition" with funding support from DBT, USAID, and the Gates Foundation.

Achieving healthy growth through agriculture and nutrition seeks to target the relationship between agriculture, nutrition, and health to reduce the high incidence of low birth weight and early stunting and wasting among India infants. Following an extensive review process by committees consisting of national and international experts, the awardees have been announced today by Prof K Vijay Raghavan, secretary DBT and chairman, BIRAC.

The five selected proposals focus on achieving development of innovative interventions that integrate agriculture practices with nutrition outcomes aimed at improved health benefits for woman and children for significant socio-economic impact and include two Interventional Development Grants and three Seed Grants.

The details of proposals are mentioned below:

1. Digital Green in collaboration with Voluntary Association for Rural Reconstruction and Appropriate Technology (VARRAT), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), The Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING), Tata-Cornell Agriculture & Nutrition Initiative (TCI), Development Corner (DCOR): Digital technology enabled and community driven integrated agriculture and nutrition intervention to promote maternal and child nutrition in Odisha. This is an interventional development grant.


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