9 Economics Chapter 4 Food Security in India

Chapter Notes and Summary
Food Security Food security means availability, accessibility and affordability of food to all people at all times.
Food security has following dimensions
1. Availability of Food means food production within country, imports and previous year’s stock stored in government granaries.
2. Accessibility means food is within reach of every person.
3. Affordability implies that an individual has enough money to buy sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet one’s dietary needs.
Food security is ensured in a country only if
1. enough food is available for all persons.
2. all persons have capacity to buy food of acceptable quality.
3. there is no barrier on access to food.
Why Food Security? or Why We Need Food Security?
1. poorest sections of society might be food insecure most of times.
2. Persons above poverty line might also be food insecure when country faces a national disaster/calamity like earthquake, drought, flood, tsunami or widespread failure of crops causing famine.
3. Because above two reasons there is need for food security.
How is Food Security Affected During a Calamity?
1. Due to a natural calamity e.g., drought, total production of foodgrains decreases. It creates a shortage of food and prices go up.
2. At high prices some people cannot afford to buy food.
3. If such a calamity happens in a very wide area or is stretched over a long period of time it may cause a situation of starvation.
1. A massive starvation might turn into a famine.
2. A famine is characterised by widespread 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.
3. most devastating famine that occurred in India was FAMINE Of BANGAL in 1943. famine killed 30
lakh people in province of Bengal in British India.
4. Even today there are places like Kalahandi and Kashipur in Orissa where famine like conditions have been existing for many years and where some starvation deaths have also taken place.
5. Therefore, food security is needed in a country to ensure food at all times.
Who are Food Insecure?
1. worst affected groups are landless people with little or no land to depend on.
2. Traditional artisans, providers of traditional services, petty self employed workers and destitutes including beggars are also such groups.
3. In urban areas food insecure families are those whose working members are generally employed in ill paid occupations and casual labour markets. They are largely engaged in seasonal activities and are paid very low wages that ensure bare survival.
4. SCs and STs and some sections of OBCs, who have either poor land base or very low productivity are prone to food insecurity.
5. People affected by natural disasters, who have to migrate to other areas in search of work are also among most food insecure people.
6. A large proportion of pregnant and nursing mothers and children under age of 5 years constitute an important segment of food insecure population.
7. states of Uttar Pradesh (Eastern and Southern parts)
Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra account for largest number of food insecure people in country.
1. Hunger is another aspect indicating food insecurity.
2. Hunger is not just an expression of poverty it brings about poverty.
3. attainment of food security therefore involves eliminating current hunger and reducing risks of future hunger.
4. Hunger has chronic and seasonal dimensional.
5. Chronic Hunger Chronic hunger is a consequence of diets persistently inadequate in terms of quantity and quality.
6. Poor people suffer from chronic hunger because of their very low income and in turn their inability to buy food even for survival.
7. Seasonal Hunger Seasonal hunger is related to cycle of food growing and harvesting.
8. This is prevalent in rural areas because of seasonal nature of agricultural activities and in urban areas because of casual labour e.g., there is less work for casual construction labour during rainy season.
India is Aiming at Self Sufficiency in Foodgrains Since Independence
1. After independence Indian policy makers adopted all measures to achieve self sufficiency in foodgrains.
2. India adopted a new strategy in agriculture which resulted in Green Revolution especially in production of wheat and rice.
3. highest rate of growth was achieved in Punjab and Haryana, where foodgrains production jumped from
7.23 million tonnes in 1964-65 to reach an all time high of
30.33 million tonnes in 1995-96.
4. Production in Maharashtra, Bihar, Orissa and northeastern states continued to stagger.
5. Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on other hand, recorded significant increase in rice yield.
Food Security in India
1. India has become self sufficient in foodgrains during last 30 years because of variety of crops grown all over country.
2. availability of foodgrains (even in adverse weather conditions or otherwise) at country level has further been ensured with a carefully designed food security system by government.
3. This system has two components
(a) Buffer stock
(b) Public distribution system
Buffer Stock
1. Buffer stock is stock of foodgrains namely wheat and rice procured by government through Food Corporation of India (FCI) to be used during shortage of foodgains.
2. FCI purchases wheat and rice from farmers where there is surplus production.
3. farmers are paid a pre-announced price for their crops.
This price is called Minimum Support Price (MSP).
4. MSP is declared by government every year before sowing season to provide incentives to farmers for raising production of these crops.
5. purchased foodgrains are stored in granaries.
6. This is done to distribute foodgrains in deficit areas and among poorer strata of society at a price lower than market price, also known as issue price.
7. This also helps to resolve problem of shortage of foodgrains during adverse weather conditions or during periods of calamity.
What is Public Distribution System?
1. food procured by FCI is distributed through government regulated ration shops among poorer sections of society. This is called Public Distribution System (PDS).
2. Ration shops are now present in most localities, villages, towns and cities.
3. Ration shops are also known as fair price shops which keep stocks of foodgrains, sugar, kerosene, oil etc. These items are sold to people at a price lower than market price.
4. Three important food intervention programmes were introduced
(a) Public Distribution System (PDS) for foodgrains in existence but strengthened thereafter.
(b) Integrated Child Development Services (ICDSs)
introduced in 1975 on an experimental basis.
(c) Food For Work (FFW) Introduced in 1977-78.
PAPs Several Poverty Alleviation Programmes (PAPs) are in existence mostly in rural areas, which have an explicit food component also.
1. Programmes such as PDS and mid-day meal etc are exclusively food security programmes. Most of PAPs also enhance food security.
2. Employment programmes greatly contribute to food security by increasing income of poor.
Current status of Public Distribution System
1. Public Distribution System is most important step taken by Government of India (GOI) towards ensuring food security.
2. In beginning coverage of PDS was universal with no discrimination between poor and non poor.
3. In 1992, Revamped Public Distribution System (RPDS)
was introduced in 1700 blocks in country to provide benefits of PDS to remote and backward areas.
4. From June 1997, in a renewed attempt, Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) was introduced to adopt principle of targeting poor in all areas.
5. It was for first time that a different price policy was adopted for poor and non poor.
In 2000 Two Special Schemes were Launched
(a) Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)
(b) Annapurna Scheme (APS)
(c) These two schemes target ‘poorest of poor’ and
‘indigent senior citizens’, respectively.
Merits of Public Distribution System
1. PDS has proved to be most effective instrument over years in stabilising prices and making food available to consumers at affordable prices.
2. It has been instrumental in avoiding widespread hunger and famine by supplying food from surplus regions of country to deficit ones.
3. system, along with minimum support price and procurement has contributed to an increase in food production and provided income security for farmers in certain regions.
Demerits of PDS
1. Instances of hunger are prevalent despite overflowing granaries. FCI godowns are overflowing with grains, with some grains rotting away and some being eaten by rats.
2. storage of massive stocks has been responsible for high carrying costs, in addition to wastage and deterioration in grain quality.
3. Intensive utilisation of water has also led to environmental degradation and fall in water level, threatening sustainability of agricultural development in these states.
4. PDS dealers are sometimes found resorting to malpractices like diverting grains to open market for more profit.
5. Dealers sell poor quality grains at ration shops.
6. They open ration shops at irregular times.
7. price for APL (Above Poverty Line) family is almost as high as open market price.
Role of Co-operatives in Food Security
1. co-operatives are also playing an important role in food security in India especially in southern and western parts of India.
2. co-operative societies set up shops to sell low priced goods to poor.
3. In Tamil Nadu, out of all fair price shops around 95% are being run by co-operatives.
4. In Delhi, Mother Dairy is making strides in provisions of milk and vegetables to consumers at controlled rates decided by Delhi Government.
5. Amul is another success story of co-operatives in milk and milk products in Gujarat.
6. Amul has brought about ‘White Revolution’ in country.
7. Grain banks are slowly taking shape in Maharashtra. ADS (Academy of Development Science) Grain Bank Programme is acknowledged as a successful and innovative food security intervention.

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