ICCo aims to ensure food and nutrition security for poor and marginalised communities, with a specific focus on women.
Ensuring food and nutrition security is a challenge for India, given its huge population and high levels of poverty and malnutrition. ICCo works with multiple stakeholders to ensure that marginalised communities have rights to and ownership of resources; to diversify local production; to facilitate marketing of products with the goal of direct poverty alleviation; to strengthen civil society and to influence policy through advocacy.
ICCo’s Food and Nutrition Security Program aims to ensure food and nutrition security for poor and marginalised communities, with a specific focus on women, given the key role they play in food production and distribution within the household. The program focuses on increasing access to government programs and schemes. It also monitors food security schemes and opposing policies that might adversely affect food security.
We organise small farmers and educate them on technology, nutrition and rights related to food security. Other strategies are aligning partners’ programs with the government and tapping into government resources, improving production, marketing surplus products, and increasing access to resources. The program also aims to develop the capacity of community-based organisations. It works on synergies with inclusive business initiatives and also on access to markets.
Policy advocacy is a strong component of the program. Across India, small and marginal farmers are being forced out of their land, or left with very small tracts of land, due to the takeover of natural resources by government and industries. They have no say in the decision and do not get any benefits from development projects. ICCo aims to deepen the democratic engagement of marginalised social groups in order to enable equity and accountability. At the heart of this approach is the right to food and land.
The India program has played a pivotal role in influencing strategies and policies on food and nutrition security development in South Asia. It serves as a knowledge hub for the programs of neighbouring countries.