I was just in the Philippines for 1 month and came to the same conclusion as
you in South India (I think), that is that the land base is no longer large
enough to support the populations food requiremeent with a rice based diet
In the Philippines I also felt they needed to increase the amount of root
crops they were growing. They can produce 4X as much food energy per hectare
as rice. Also they had a need to reduce their meat and fish consumption and
increase the grain legume and vegetables in their diet to provide greater
food security for the nation. Much of their livestock feed is imported. The
poor are finding animal protein and rice too expensive. Much of the need
appeared not to be a production problem on how to grow more productive food
crops but how to get them to accept these foods into their diet.
With rising population, a decreasing agricultural land base (because of
rapid development) and the combination of the El Nino, global warming, and
deforestation to deplete water resources, the outlook for food security
based on wetland rice was pretty bleak. It seems that there are lots of food
options available to increase food security rather than putting the emphasis
on pumping water from deeper wells and more money into rice research.
However the cultural barriers to changing diet appear strong.
Resource Efficient Agricultural Production-Canada
Ste Anne de Bellevue, Quebec
>I am trying to work out the sustainable food production capacity of a small
>state called Kerala in the southern most tip of India.
>The amount of food grains that can be produced in the state is
>limited. But there is ample scope for production of fruits, some of the
>tropical vegetables and a lot of Tubers (like yams, colocassia, cassava..).
>It is also possible to obtain a lot of sea-food. Fruits mentioned above
>include large quantities of mango, banana (different varieties of
>plantains), a lot of jack-fruit etc.... It is also possible to produce
>large quantities of greens.
>My question is- can any of the above food replace grains?
>(Here grain practically means rice- the staple diet of people in the state).
>A lot of coconut pulp is also consumed as the part of food- almost to the
>tune of 200 gms/family/day (family of five people). Can this cocnut pulp
>substitute a part of the grain consumption?
>I would be greatful if anybody can enlighten me about this.
>Thanks in advance
> REGI THOMAS
> Senior Research Fellow
> HSS Department, Indian Institute of Tech. Bombay
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