Food Security in India

Introduction The word “Food security” implies that all people have enough nutritious food available, all persons have the capacity to buy food of acceptable quality and there is no barrier to access food. The poorest people suffer from food and nutrition insecurity most of the time while people above poverty line might also suffer from food insecurity during times of natural calamity and disaster like famine, flood, etc. Therefore, food security is needed in a country to ensure food at all times. The worst affected food insecure groups are landless labour, traditional artisans, poor households, etc. in rural areas and menial and casual labour in urban areas. The number of food insecure people is high in economically backward states with high incidence of poverty, tribal and remote areas and regions prone to natural disaster like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, etc. Another aspect indicating food insecurity is hunger. Attainment of food security also involves eliminating current hunger as well as reducing the risks of future. The two dimensions of hunger are seasonal hunger and chronic hunger. After independence, with aim to achieve self-sufficiency in foodgrains, India adopted new strategies in agriculture especially in production of wheat and rice which resulted in “Green Revolution”.

To ensure the food security in India, the Indian government has designed the food security system which comprised of two components namely buffer stock which is maintained by food corporation of India and second public distribution system under which food secured by FCI is distributed through government regulated ration shops or fair price shops among the poorer section of the society. Several other poverty alleviation programmmes like integrated child development services, food for work, Antyodya Ann Yojna etc. were also started which have an explicit food component. In India there are various cooperatives like Mother Dairy, Amul and NGOs like Academy of development Sciences (ADS) who are also playing an imperative role in food security.

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