Past Event

The Many Sides of a Roti: Cereals and their Impact on Environment and Nutrition

January 15, 2019
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai, 12-13, Maker Chambers VI, First floor, Jamnalal Bajaj Road, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021

Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai invites you to a public lecture by Professor Ruth DeFries where she will compare nutritional and environmental outcomes across Indian cereals.
India’s transition from a rice-importing to an exporting country over the last fifty years is a remarkable achievement. The Green Revolution’s success relied heavily on increased production of rice and wheat at the expense of lower-yielding traditional coarse cereals such as pearl millet (bajra), sorghum (jowar), and finger millet (ragi). The Indian diet has consequently shifted away from coarse cereals.  Our interdisciplinary research combines long-term agricultural and climate data sets with models to compare water demand, climate resilience, greenhouse gas emissions, and supply of macro and micro nutrients across the cereals. Results points towards beneficial environmental and nutritional outcomes from coarse cereals compared with polished rice. Increased production of coarse cereals could help alleviate India’s substantial prevalence of micro nutrient deficiencies, reduce water demand, and enhance farmers’ resilience to an uncertain climate.

To register, send an email to [email protected]


About the speaker:

Ruth DeFries

Ruth DeFries is Professor of Ecology and Sustainable Development at Columbia University in New York. She uses images from satellites and field surveys to examine how the world’s demands for food and other resources are changing land use throughout the tropics. Her research quantifies how these land use changes affect climate, biodiversity and other ecosystem services, as well as human development. She was elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and is a recipient of the MacArthur Genius award. She is committed to linking science with policy, for example through her involvement with the Environmental Defense Fund, Science for Nature and People, World Wildlife Fund, and reconciling conservation and development in central India.