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How is food security ensured in India?

Food security of a nation is ensured if all of its citizens have enough nutritious food available, all persons have the capacity to buy food of acceptable quality and there is no barrier on access to food.


Which are the people more prone to food insecurity?

Although a large section of people suffer from food and nutrition insecurity in India, the worst affected groups are landless or land-poor households in rural areas and people employed in ill paid occupations and casual labourers engaged in seasonal activities in the urban areas.


Which states are more food insecure in India?

The states of Uttar Pradesh (eastern and south-eastern parts), Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, parts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharasthra account for the largest number of food insecure people in the country.


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

After independence, India adopted a new strategy in agriculture, which resulted in the ‘Green Revolution’ especially in the production of wheat and rice. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, officially recorded the impressive strides of the Green revolution in agriculture by releasing a special stamp entitled ‘Wheat Revolution’ in July 1968. The success of wheat was later replicated in rice. The increase in food grains was, however, disproportionate. The highest rate of growth was achieved in Punjab and Haryana, where food grain production jumped from 7.23 million tonnes in 1964–65 to reach an all-time high of 30.33 million tonnes in 1995–96.


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

A section of the people are insecure during a few months when they remain unemployed because of the seasonal nature of agricultural work. They are engaged in seasonal activities and are paid very low wages that just ensure bare survival. At times it so happens that they have to stay without food.


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

The poorest section of the society might be food insecure most of the times while persons above 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.


Differentiate between seasonal hunger and chronic hunger?

Hunger has chronic and seasonal dimensions.
Chronic Hunger

Seasonal Hunger

Chronic hunger is a consequence of diets persistently inadequate in terms of quantity and/or quality. Seasonal hunger is related to cycles of food growing and harvesting.
Poor people suffer from chronic hunger because of their very low income and in turn inability to buy food even for survival. This is prevalent in rural areas because of the seasonal nature of agricultural activities and in urban areas because of the casual labour.



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

In order to help the poor, and provide food security to them,two special schemes were launched in 2000. They were, Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and the Annapurna Scheme (APS) with special target groups of ‘poorest of the poor’ and ‘indigent senior citizens’, respectively. The functioning of these two schemes was linked with the existing network.


Why is a buffer stock created by the government?

To ensure availability of food to all sections of the society the Indian government carefully designed food security system, which is composed of two components: (a) buffer stock and (b) public distribution system. This is done to distribute foodgrains in the deficit areas and among the poorer strata of society at a price lower than the market price.


Write notes on:Minimum Support Price, Buffer Stock, Issue Price and Fair Price Shops.

a. Minimum Support Price
The farmers are paid a pre-announced price for their crops. This price is called Minimum Support Price. The MSP is declared by the government every year before the sowing season to provide incentives to the farmers for raising the production of these crops.

b. Buffer Stock
Buffer Stock is the stock of food grains, namely wheat and rice procured by the government through Food Corporation of India (FCI).

c.Issue Price
Buffer stock is created to distribute food grains in the deficit areas and among the poorer strata of society at a price lower than the market price also known as Issue Price. This also helps resolve the problem of shortage of food during adverse weather conditions or during the periods of calamity.

d. Fair Price Shops
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). Ration shops are now present in most localities, villages, towns and cities. There are about 4.6 lakh ration shops all over the country. Ration shops also known as Fair Price Shops keep stock of food grains, sugar, kerosene oil for cooking. These items are sold to people at a price lower.


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

The cooperatives are also playing an important role in food security in India especially in the southern and western parts of the country. The cooperative societies set up shops to sell low priced goods to poor people. For example, out of all fair price shops running in Tamil Nadu, around 94 per cent are being run by the cooperatives.

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