M. Preethi, M. Jagan Mohan Reddy and N. Praveen
Extension Education Institute, PJTSAU, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad- 500030
Nutritional security remains a significant challenge in rural areas of India, where limited food accessibility, availability, and dietary diversity persist. To address this pressing issue, Nutri-Smart Villages have emerged as a transformative approach, collaboratively developed by government agencies and research institutions. This initiative aims to combat malnutrition through integrated, multi-dimensional strategies. At the heart of Nutri-Smart Villages is the transformation of traditional farming practices. By adopting innovative techniques like having a community-based nutrition garden and crop diversification models, these villages can achieve higher crop yields and improve the quality of produce. This results in a diverse range of nutrient-rich foods, directly addressing hidden hunger and micro-nutrient deficiencies prevalent in rural India. Community participation plays a vital role in the success of Nutri-Smart Villages. Empowering local communities through capacity-building workshops, training sessions, and women's self-help groups fosters a sense of ownership and sustainability. The convergence of traditional wisdom and modern scientific insights creates a knowledge-sharing ecosystem, driving context-specific solutions for improved nutrition. The implementation of Nutri-Smart Villages in select regions of India has shown promising results. It has led to reduced malnutrition rates, improved health indicators, and boosted overall economic development. Nutri-Smart Villages presents a holistic and innovative approach to ensure nutritional security in India's rural landscape. Disseminating and further adopting this transformative model, it has the potential to catalyze a nationwide movement toward building a nourished and healthy India. By converging modern agricultural practices, advanced technologies, community engagement, and nutrition education, Nutri-Smart Villages empower villages towards self-sufficiency and improved well-being. The success of this initiative lies in the collaboration of various stakeholders to address malnutrition comprehensively and foster sustainable change in rural communities. Accordingly, the Extension Education Institute, PJTSAU, Hyderabad, launched a 2-year action research project on "Adoption and Establishment of Nutri Smart Village in Telangana."