The SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC) has the mandate for agricultural research and development (R&D), knowledge sharing, information dissemination, policy support and capacity enhancement through the establishment of regional networks of relevant institutions, professionals, policy makers, and other stakeholders for promoting sustainable, inclusive, and resilient agricultural development in the South Asia. SAC envisions a hunger-free South Asia, and its mission is to provide evidence-based technical and policy solutions to the SAARC Member States for the sustainable transformation of the food and agricultural systems that contributes to reduce poverty, and end hunger and undernutrition in the region.

South Asia a home to 1.9 billion people (as of 2021), is one of the poorest regions in the world. The region constitutes one-third of the world’s poor with about 70 percent living in rural areas and primarily dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. The region accounts for 35% of the undernourished population globally and thus has one of the greatest burdens of hunger in the world (Dizon, Josephson et al. 2021). Moreover, the region has 40% of the world’s stunted children and some of the world’s highest rates of anemia among women. Addressing these challenges of hunger and undernourishment is therefore fundamental; not only for the regional prosperity of South Asia; but also, for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and reach the target of zero hunger globally. Food and agriculture systems can play fundamental role towards this end.

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