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Cornell University

Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition

TCI Director Talks Food Systems on Cornell Policy Review Podcast

Prabhu Pingali

TCI Director Prabhu Pingali was interviewed for an episode of the Cornell Policy Review podcast, where he discussed food systems and related issues.

Speaking with Cornell MPA student Shivanshu Sharma, Pingali spoke about the nature of food systems transformations, gender empowerment, and the roles of large international donors and national programs.

“Large donors focusing on international public good investments can have an enormous impact,” Pingali said. “Investments in plant sciences, agronomy, etc., can then help national programs take those investments and adapt them to their own countries. If donors are much more downstream and don’t address those international public good investments, then we are losing a big opportunity for having an impact.”

Pingali also discussed some issues specific to India, such as the recent increase in obesity, agricultural subsidies, and the future of smallholder farming. Regarding small farms, Pingali suggested aggregation into farmer producer organizations (FPOs) as an optimal way forward.

“It’s not a question of should there be small farms or large farms,” he said. “It’s a question of how small farms can profitably participate in the food and agriculture system.”

The Cornell Policy Review is the official public policy journal of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), a graduate program offering a two-year Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree.