Food Security in India - The Hindu - 10/12/22
Expanding Public Distributing System coverage to account for the increase in population since 2011 is a no-brainer; the Government’s resistance to implementing a Supreme Court of India direction is baffling.
India has ranked 101 among the 116 countries on the Global Hunger Index, 2021. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Food Price Index has increased by 30% in the year 2021-22.
GS2 - Governance
Food security is the measure of the availability of food and individuals’ ability to access it; meaning that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.
It has following dimensions:
-Availability: It means food production within the country, food imports and the stock stored in government granaries.
-Accessibility: It means food is within reach of every person without any discrimination.
-Affordability: It implies that having enough money to buy sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet
one’s dietary needs.
--->Impact of the pandemic on Food Security: Recently, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 report. The key findings are,
-Loss of income and rise in food prices
-Dip in people’s affordability of healthy food
-Healthy diet costs more
NFSA covers 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population under:
-Antyodaya Anna Yojana: It constitute the poorest of-the-poor, are entitled to receive 35 kg of foodgrains per household per month.
-Priority Households (PHH): Households covered under PHH category are entitled to receive 5 kg of foodgrains per person per month.
-In addition, the act lays down special provisions for children between the ages of 6 months and 14 years old, which allows them to receive a nutritious meal for free through a widespread network of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) centres, known as Anganwadi Centres.
Challenges to food security in India:
1.Climate change will continue to affect agriculture and food security
2.A third of all food produced is wasted
3.scale of India’s public food distribution systems is immense and has gone through constant navigation and improvement, which is commendable. But still lot of improvement needed
4. The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey 2016-18 revealed that over 40 million children are chronically malnourished, and more than half of Indian women aged 15-49 years are anaemic.
5.In India, more than 86% of farmers have less than two hectares of land contributing around 60% of the total food grain production and over half the country’s fruits and vegetables.