Include Traditional Cuisine in Curriculum

Our Reporter

The Shillong Times

November 7, 2015

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma interacts with the ITM delegates on Friday. (DIPR)

SHILLONG: A delegation consisting of representatives of various international organizations supporting the Indigenous Terra Madre (ITM) 2015 have urged Chief Minister Mukul Sangma to include traditional knowledge and traditional cuisine in the State educational curriculum, arguing that traditional cuisine can help youths connect to their roots.

The delegation also wanted the Public Distributions System (PDS) in India to focus not only on rice and wheat but to diversify the dietary consumption.

Other suggestions include the need to recognize the custodian farmers.

The delegates said that nutritional intake of the children in the State is higher than other states in India but lower than the international standard despite the rich cultural diversity.

The delegation also stressed the need to reconsider shifting cultivation and localization of products and added that nutrient composition of some of the plants unique to the region is high.

The representatives included those from United Nations (FAO), IFAD, ICIMOD, and Chefs' Alliance.

The chief minister said that the event will create positive stories for the whole NE region and added that the government will explore the possibilities of having such an event every three years.

He gave insights on the State government's initiatives in the field of agriculture and how it has re-strategized its approach to farming with a stress on organic farming.

"The focus of our government is to look at the majority of the population, that is, the farmers and creating livelihood opportunities that are sustainable and remunerative that would make living in the rural areas more attractive than in the urban centres," Sangma said.

The chief minister also said it was a privilege to share the knowledge of global partners for the benefit of the local farmers.