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Mekam Maheshwar, Dharmapuri Raghunatha Rao

Nutrition is essential for health and growth of humans. Different kinds of edible minor forest produce (MFP) are rich in nutrients. Particularly, micro nutrients like vitamin A, iron and other minerals and vitamins are present mostly in forest based foods like nuts, honey, green leafy vegetables (GLV), fruits, roots and tubers. This article aims to find linkage between deforestation in India and potential threat to nutrition status of people, particularly urban poor. Based on the published data, primarily from FSI, FAO, CSO, NSSO and other regional level locale specific case studies, the analysis pointed intricate relationship between forestation and nutrition. In India, the rate of deforestation is gradually increasing. Subsequently, harvest of MFPs registered a slow down. This could be one among many factors affecting steep rise in prices of edible MFPs including fruits, honey, nuts, and vegetables. Price rises could make nutrient foods unaffordable to poor people, thus denying them of availability of micro nutrients. It is also observed that, expenditure pattern on fruits and vegetables by urban and rural people have significantly changed. The analysis concluded as deforestation could pose a potential threat to nutrition of urban poor.