PRABHU PINGALI: I spend most of my time working on food and agriculture problems in developing countries with a particular emphasis on India. So one of the things that my own personal experience watching the Green Revolution happened in my village was to see the importance of technology, and policies, and how that creates change.
My main goal is to eventually see dramatic reductions in malnutrition in India and looking at food-based pathways to getting there. And if you think about food-based pathways, you're also addressing rural poverty, because improved production of better food is a significant income-generating pathway for the poor.
So you're addressing both malnutrition and poverty with the same strategy.
Something the US can learn from India is how do you make better food choices? Especially as you look at this trend towards a flexitarian diet, then there's a lot that Indian diets can contribute to that. As you think about these new sources of food, such as Beyond Meat, et cetera, they depend on these alternate sources of protein.
And some of the issues around how do you supply these sources of protein? How do you supply beans, and peas, and lentils that go into the manufacture of these Beyond Meat type products?
You find that there's a lot of lessons that we've learned from agriculture development in other parts of the world that continue to be relevant to India. There are lessons that we've learned in India that are relevant outside of India. And this is where I think an institute like ours makes a difference.
We can become the conduit for learnings from other parts of the world and bring them to India. And we can be the conduit for taking lessons from India to other parts of the world. That's what's so exciting about being in my seat.
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Prabhu Pingali, founding director of the Tata-Cornell Institute, talks about solving food and agriculture problems in developing countries.