NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science Economics Chapter 4 Food Security in India


Write a note on the role of cooperatives in providing food and related item.


In India, the role played by cooperatives in providing food and related items is important. These cooperatives are playing imperative role in southern and northern parts of India in providing food. The cooperative societies set up shops to sell low priced goods to poor people. For example, in Tamil Nadu, 94 percent of fair price shops are being run by cooperatives.

Another example of cooperatives is the Mother Dairy, in Delhi, which provides milk and vegetables to consumers at controlled rates decided by the Government of Delhi.

Amul, a cooperative of milk and milk products from Gujarat has brought white revolution in the country.

In Maharashtra, the Academy of Development Science (ADS) has created a network of organisation for setting up grain banks in different regions. It also organises training and capacity building programmes on food security. Due to ADS efforts grains banks are setting up in different parts of Maharashtra and now it becomes inspiration for other NGOs to work on same footing and to influence the government policy.


Why buffer stock is created by the government?


Buffer stock can be defined as the stock of food grains procured by the government through Food Corporation of India with the aim to meet any shortage of demand in future.

Buffer stock (mainly of wheat and rice) is created by the government for following purposes:

1. For distributing grains to the deficit areas 

2. For distributing grains amongst poor people at lower prices

3. To meet the problem of food insecurity at the time of natural calamities


What has our government done to provide food security to the poor? Discuss any two schemes launched by the government?


The government has ensured the availability to food grains at the country level by carefully designing the food security system. This system has two components: (a) Buffer Stock (b) Public Distribution System.

Many schemes have been launched by the government to provide food security to the people. Two of them are as follows:

1. Food Security Act, 2013: This Act aims to provide food and nutritional security to life at affordable prices and enable people to live a life with dignity. It provides a legal entitlement to subsidised food-grains to 75 % of the country's rural population and 50 % of urban India.

2. Antyodaya Anna Yojana: This scheme was introduced in December 2000. It was meant for the poorest among the BPL families. Under this scheme the poor are given 35 kg of food grains every month at a highly subsidised rate of 3 per kg for rice and 2 per kg for wheat.


Differentiate between seasonal hunger and chronic hunger?


Seasonal hunger

Chronic hunger

It exists when a person is unable to get food for a certain period of time during the year.

Permanent inadequacy of quantity and quality of diet results in chronic hunger.

Irregular nature of work results in irregular income and less capacity to buy food.

Poor sections with very low income are unable to buy good quality food on a regular basis.

e.g. seasonal farming, casual labour activities, construction worker, etc.

e.g. beggars, house help workers, etc.


What happens to the supply of food when there is a disaster or a calamity?


At the time of natural disaster or natural calamity, the supply of food gets affected in following ways:

  • The production of food grains declines which results in the shortage of supply of food in the affected areas. This in turn causes food prices to rise and people are not able to buy food because of high prices. If the calamity continues for a longer period it can lead to massive starvation which can take the form of famine.
  • There is disruption of communication and transportation due to natural calamity. It hinders transportation of food even if the adequate food is available in the country. Due to communication and transportation gap food does not reach to needy.


A section of people in India are still without food. Explain?


Due to adoption of Green Revolution, India has achieved self-sufficiency in food grains production in last thirty years. But still a section of people in India are without food. It is because:

  • Landless labour, casual labour, ill-paid workers, etc. earn meager or less income which is not sufficient to get two squares of meal a day.
  • SCs, STs and OBCs (lower caste amongst them) who have low land-base or low productivity are food insecure.
  • The people affected by natural disasters are forced to migrate in other states, left without food.
  • Corruption in PDS distribution is one of the main reasons why people are left without food. PDS shop owners divert grains in local market or sell grains at higher prices.


Do you believe that green revolution has made India self-sufficient in food grains? How?


Yes, we believe that green revolution has made India self-reliant in food grains. Since independence India was striving hard to attain self sufficiency in food grains production. In 1969, India adopted a new strategy in agriculture which resulted in the Green revolution (especially in wheat and rice production). In this strategy farmers were encouraged to adopt HYV seeds, new methods of production, irrigation methods, insecticides and pesticides, etc. Owing to this reason India has become self sufficient in food grains during the last thirty years. Now the varieties of crops are grown across the country.

But this growth was disproportionate. The growth rate of food grain production increased in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab immediately after green revolution but the growth rate did not change in other states. The growth rate of foodgrains is increasing in other states now.


Which states are more food insecure in India?


The following states are more food insecure in India:

  • Uttar Pradesh (eastern and south-eastern parts)
  • Bihar
  • Jharkhand
  • Orissa
  • West Bengal
  • Chattisgarh
  • Parts of Madhya Pradesh and
  • Maharasthra


What are the problems of the functioning of ration shops?


Some of the problems relating to the functioning of ration shops are as follows:

  • Ration shop dealers are found resorting to malpractices like, diverting food grains to open markets to get better profit margin, selling poor quality of food grains, irregular opening of shops etc.
  • It has been observed that rations shops regularly have unsold stocks of poor quality grains. Over time this is becoming the grave problem because ration shops are unable to sell and huge stocks of food grains are piling up with FCI.   
  • Sometimes the price charged by ration shop owners is much higher than the government prescribed prices.
  • A large number of families are unable to buy foodgrains from the ration shops due to fixation of quota. These include low income families whose incomes are marginally higher than the below poverty line.
  • Under TPDS, three different prices are charged. The price for APL (above poverty line) is almost same as in the open market. Hence, they have little or no incentive to purchase foodgrains from ration shops.


Write notes on:
  1. Minimum support price
  2. Buffer stock
  3. Issue price
  4. Fair price shops


  1. Minimum support price, MSP is the pre announced price at which Food Corporation of India procures crops from farmers. This price is declared by the government every year before sowing season to provide incentives to farmers for raising crops. Also, government gives assurance to farmers that it will purchase food grains at MSP in case of fall in market price. Government uses this tool to intervene in the market.
  2. The buffer stock is created by the government to ensure food security in the country. At the minimum support price government purchases food grains from the market and the purchased food grains are stored in granaries.
  3. The price at which government distributes foodgrains in the deficit areas and amongst the poorer strata of society is known as Issue price. This price is generally lower than the market price.
  4. The food procured by Food Corporation of India is distributed at lower prices amongst poorer strata of the society through government regulated shops. These shops are also known as fair price shop. Apart from food grains, these shops also distribute other essential items like sugar.


Which are the people more prone to food insecurity?


The following people are more prone to food insecurity:

  • In rural areas landless people, petty self-employed workers, destitute (beggars) suffer from food insecurity.
  • In urban areas, casual labourers, workers employed in seasonal activities and ill-paid occupations are badly affected from food insecurity.
  • People affected by natural disasters, compelled to migrate to other cities are also amongst the most food insecure people.
  • A large portion of women (especially nursing and pregnant women) and children under the age of 5 years are amongst the food insecure people.
  • The SCs, STs, and OBC who have small holdings of land or low productivity are prone to food insecure people.


How is food security ensured in India?


To ensure food security in any country its three dimensions i.e. availability, accessibility and affordability needs to be ensured.

In India, these three dimensions are ensured due to following reasons.

  1. With the advent of Green Revolution India has become self-sufficient in food grains. Now the variety of crops is grown across the country.
  2. Food Corporation of India (FCI) maintains buffer stock. It procures wheat and rice from farmers in states where there is surplus production at minimum support price.
  3. Government distributes the grains procured by FCI through government regulated ration shops (also called fair price shop). The process of distribution of essential items like food grains, sugar, etc. is known public distribution system.
  4. Along with these, government is also running special programmes like
  • Integrated child development programme
  • Food for work programme
  • Poverty alleviation programmes
  • Mid day meal
  • Employment generation programmes

These programmes contribute in ensuring food security in India.

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