Food Security in India,
Page No: 53
1. How is food security ensured in India?
Food security is ensured in a country when the three dimensions of food security are taken care of. The three dimensions are:
Availabilityof food – Presence of enough food for all the persons
Accessibilityof food – Absence of barrier on access to food
Affordabilityof food – Capability of all persons to buy food of acceptable quality
A large section of people suffer from food and nutrition insecurity in India. However, the worst affected groups areas follows:
→ Landless and land-poor households, traditional artisans, providers of traditional services, petty self-employed workers and destitute including beggars (in the rural areas).
→ People employed in ill-paid occupations and casual labourers engaged in seasonal activities (in the urban areas).
→ People belonging to the backward sections of society, namely SCs, STs and OBCs
→ People belonging to economically-backward states with high incidence of poverty, tribal and remote areas and regions more prone to natural disasters.
→ People affected by natural disasters who have to migrate to other areas in search of work.
→ Large proportion of pregnant and nursing mothers, and children under the age of 5 years.
3. Which states are more food insecure in India?
The economically-backward states with high incidence of poverty 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 Maharashtra account for the largest number of food insecure people in the country.
4. Do you believe that Green Revolution has made India self-sufficient in food grains? How?
In the late 1960s, the Green Revolution introduced the Indian farmer to the cultivation of high-yielding varieties (HYVs) of seeds. The HYVs (coupled with chemical fertilisers and pesticides) led to a growth in the productivity of food grains (especially wheat and rice), thereby helping India attain self-sufficiency in food grains. Since the advent of the Green Revolution, the country has avoided famine even during adverse weather conditions.
5. A section of people in India are still without food. Explain.
Despite large increase in foodgrain production we find people without food in India. Poor people suffer from chronic hunger. They find themselves unable to buy food. Over one-fifth of the country’s population still suffers from chronic hunger.
6. What happens to the supply of food when there is a disaster or a calamity?
When there is a disaster or a calamity, the production of food grains decreases in the affected area. This in turn creates a shortage of food in the area. Due to the food shortage, the prices go up. The raised prices of food materials affect the capacity of many people to buy the same. When the calamity occurs in a very wide spread area or is stretched over a long period of time, it may cause a situation of starvation. A massive starvation can take the form of famine.
7. Differentiate between seasonal hunger and chronic hunger.
Seasonal hunger is related to cycles of food growing and harvesting. This is prevalent in rural areas because of the seasonal nature of agricultural activities, and in urban areas because of the casual labour (e.g., there is less work for casual construction labour during the rainy season). This type of hunger exists when a person is unable to get work for the entire year.
Chronic hunger is a consequence of diets persistently inadequate in terms of quantity and/or quality. Poor people suffer from chronic hunger because of their very low income and in turn, inability to buy food even for survival.
8. What has our government done to provide food security to the poor? Discuss any two schemes launched by the government?
The food security is ensured in India by the Government by carefully designed food security system. This system is composed of two components:
(a) Maintaining a Buffer Stock of food grains,
(b) Through the distribution of these food grains among the poorer sections of the society with the help of a Public Distribution System (PDS).
Two schemes launched by the government to provide food security to the poor are:
9. Why is a buffer stock created by the government?
A buffer stock of food grains is created by the government so as to distribute the procured food grains in the food-deficit areas and among the poorer strata of society at a price lower than the market price. A buffer stock helps resolve the problem of shortage of food during adverse weather conditions or during periods of calamity.
10. Write notes on:
(a) Minimum support price
(b) Buffer stock
(c) Issue price
(d) Fair-price shops
(a) Minimum Support Price (MSP) – This is the pre-announced price at which the government purchases foodgrains particularly, wheat and rice from the farmer in order to crate a buffer stock. This price is announced by the government every year before the sowing season to give incentive to the farmers to raise the production of the desired crop. The rising MSPs have raised the maintenance cost of procuring food grains by the government as well as induced farmers to divert land from production of coarse grains to the production of these crops.
11. What are the problems of the functioning of the ration shops?
There are various problem of the functioning of ration shops such as ;
→ The owners of these shops sell ration in the open market at higher prices.
→ Sometimes shopkeepers make bogus entries in the ration cards.
12. Write a note on the role of cooperatives in providing food and related items.
The cooperatives are 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 goods to the poor people at lower prices. For example, out of all fair price shops operating in Tamil Nadu, nearly 94 percent are being run by the cooperatives. In Delhi, Mother Dairy is providing milk and vegetables to the consumers at controlled prices which are decided by the Delhi Government. Amul is another example in this regard. It has brought about the White Revolution in the country. There are many more cooperatives and NGOs also working intensively towards this direction.