Food Security in India

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Food Security in India:

Food Security in India

What is food security?:

What is food security? (a) availability of food means food production within the country, food imports and the previous years stock stored in government granaries. (b) accessibility means food is within reach of every person . (c) affordability implies that an individual has enough money to buy sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet one's dietary needs.

Why food security?:

Why food security? The poorest section of the society might be food insecure the poverty line might also be food insecure when the country faces a national disaster/calamity like earthquake , drought , flood, tsunami , widespread failure of crops causing famine , etc.

How is food security affected during a calamity?:

How is food security affected during a calamity? Due to a natural calamity, say drought, total production of foodgrains decreases. It creates a shortage of food in the affected areas . Due to shortage of food, the prices go up. At the high prices, some people cannot afford to buy food . A Famine is characterised by wide spread deaths due to starvation and epidemics caused by forced use of contaminated water or decaying food and loss of body resistance due to weakening from starvation.

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The most devastating famine that occurred in India was the FAMINE OF BENGAL in 1943. This famine killed thirty lakh people in the province of Bengal . Even today, there are places like Kalahandi and Kashipur in Orissa where famine-like conditions have been existing for many years Starvation deaths are also reported in Baran district of Rajasthan , Palamau district of Jharkhand

Who are food-insecure?:

Who are food-insecure? The food insecure families are those whose working members are generally employed in ill-paid occupations and casual labour market. landless people with little or no land to depend upon , traditional artisans,providers of traditional services , petty selfemployed workers and destitutes including beggars. In the urban areas,

Who are food-insecure?:

Who are food-insecure? The social composition The people affected by natural disasters, who have to migrate to other areas in search of work , malnutrition prevails among women . Economically backward states with high incidence of poverty, Uttar Pradesh ( eastern and south-eastern parts), Bihar,Jharkhand , Orissa, West Bengal, Chattisgarh , parts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharasthra account for largest number of food insecure people in the country.


Hunger Chronic hunger is a consequence of diets ersistently inadequate in terms of quantity and/or Economics quality . Seasonal hunger is related to cycles of food rowing and harvesting.

‘Wheat,GreenRevolution’ in July 1968,1969.:

‘ Wheat,GreenRevolution ’ in July 1968,1969 . The highest rate of growth was achieved in Punjab and Haryana , where foodgrain production jumped from 7.23 million tonnes in 1964–65 to reach an all-time high of 30.33 million tonnes in 1995–96. Production in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh , Bihar, Orissa and the northeastern states continued to stagger. Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh , on the other hand, recorded significant increases in rice yield. Suggested Activity

What is Buffer stock?:

What is Buffer stock? Buffer Stock is the stock of foodgrains , namely wheat and rice procured by the government through Food Corporation of India (FCI ) . Minimum Support Price . To distribute foodgrains in the deficit areas and among the poorer strata of society at a price lower than the market price also known as Issue Price .

Public Distribution System:

Public Distribution System The food procured by the FCI is distributed through government regulated ration shops among the poorer section of the society. This is called the public distribution system (PDS ). 4.6 lakh ration shops all over the country. Ration shops also known as Fair Price Shops The introduction of Rationing in India dates back to the 1940s against the backdrop of the Bengal famine.

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As reported by the NSSO in the mid-1970s , three important food intervention programmes were introduced: Public Distribution System ( PDS) for food grains Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) ( introduced in 1975) Food-for-Work** (FFW ) ( introduced in 1977–78).

Poverty Alleviation Programmes (PAPs):

Poverty Alleviation Programmes (PAPs) mid-day meals Employment programmes greatly contribute to food security by increasing the income of the poor

Current Status of Public Distribution System:

Current Status of Public Distribution System In 1992, Revamped Public Distribution System (RPDS) was introducted in 1,700 blocks in the country. The target was to provide the benefits of PDS to remote and backward areas . It was for the first time that a differential price policy was adopted for poor and non-poor . in 2000, two special schemes were launched viz ., Antyodaya Anna Yojana *** (AAY) and the Annapurna Scheme (APS) with special target groups


P.D.S The PDS has proved to be the most effective instrument of government policy over the years in stabilising prices and making food available to consumers at affordable prices . In averting widespread hunger and famine by supplying food from surplus regions of the country to the deficit ones . The minimum support price and procurement has contributed to an increase in food grain production and provided income security to farmers in certain regions .

Public Distribution System -criticism:

Public Distribution System - criticism Instances of hunger are prevalent despite overflowing granaries . GRAINS with some rotting away and some being eaten by rats . In July 2002, the stock of wheat and rice with FCI was 63 million tonnes which was much more than the minimum buffer norms of 24.3 million tonnes . high level of foodgrains is very undesirable and can be wasteful .


criticism THIS is apparent from the fact that the average consumption of PDS grain at the all-India level is only 1 kg per person per month . The average consumption figure is as low as less than 300 gm per person per month in the states of Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. The average consumption in most of the southern states like Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh is in the range of 3–4 kgs per person per month . As a result the poor have to depend on markets rather than the ration shops for their food needs.


criticism PDS dealers are sometimes found resorting to malpractices like diverting the grains to open market to get better margin, The three types of cards and the range of prices that you see today did not exist in some Sates.

Role of cooperatives in food security:

Role of cooperatives in food security The cooperative societies set up shops to sell low priced goods to poor people . Tamil Nadu , around 94 per cent are being run by the cooperatives . In Delhi, Mother Dairy is making strides in provision of milk and vegetables Amul is another success story of cooperatives in milk and milk products from Gujarat . In Maharashtra , Academy of Development Science (ADS)

Academy of Development Science (ADS):

Academy of Development Science (ADS) ADS organises training and capacity building programmes on food security for NGOs. Grain Banks are now slowly taking shape in different parts of Maharashtra. ADS efforts to set up Grain Banks, to facilitate replication through other NGOs and to influence the Government’s policy on food security are thus paying rich dividends . The ADS Grain Bank programme is acknowledged as a successful and innovative food security intervention.

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