Food Security

Write a critical note on the efforts made by India and their success in reducing the proportion of food insecure persons since 1990. Also examine future challenges that India faces in eliminating hunger. (200 Words)

Economic productivity of a nation hugely depends upon the individual well-being & food security of its citizens. The government has addressed this issue using different strategies.
  1. Since 1990, schemes have generally had a “targeted” approach. A network of PDS outlets distribute essential food grains at subsidized prices to identified beneficiaries.
  2. Indirect approaches to address food security have also been adopted. Under the MDM, ICDS, SABLA inter alia food of adequate nutritional value is provided.
  3. For SC/ST/OBC food supplies have been directed to the designated government hostels made for them.
  4. To ensure food security during crisis Village Grain Banks have been established.
  5. For senior citizens under Annapurna scheme & for the most deprived sections under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) food security is ensured.
  6. NFSA gives the “right to food” to a sizeable portion of the population.
However, despite consistent efforts, food security for many has remained elusive. India is the most undernourished country in the world today, according to recent studies. Although significant gains have been made in ensuring food security in last decade but poverty & hunger still remain a concern for about 1/5th of the population.
A number of challenges remain to be addressed –
  1. Population is set to cross 150 crore mark and the agricultural sector not growing at desired pace
  2. R&D for climate-resistant crops, better seeds, fertilisers and irrigation methods to achieve 2nd green revolution
  3. Lack of warehouses and distribution channels. Shanta Kumar panel recommends FCI revamp
  4. Use of DBT to curb inefficiencies and leakages
  5. Lack of employment is a big issue
  6. Govt is facing a dilemma between infrastructural spending and social spending. NGOs like Akshay Patra should be encouraged
  7. Improper targeting due to lack of comprehensive socio-economic census
  8. Lack of balanced diet in villages. Anganwadis should be empowered to disseminate such knowledge



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