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“Food Security in India“, in today’s post, we are sharing Food Security in India with you.
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What is Food Security
Food Security in India
Food is essential for living as air is for breathing. But food security means something more than getting two square meals. Food security is ensured in the country only if enough food is available for all persons. All persons have the capacity to buy food of acceptable quality and there is no barrier to access to food.
Why food Security?
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.
The most devastating famine that occurred in India was the FAMINE OF BENGAL in 1943. This famine killed thirty lakh people in the province if Bengal.
Nothing like the Bengal Famine has happened in India again. But it is disturbing to note that 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 been reported. Starvation deaths are also reported in Baran district of Rajasthan, Palamau district of Jharkhand and many other remote areas during the recent years. Therefore, food security is needed in a country to ensure food at all times.
Who are food-insecure?
The food insecure people are disproportionately large in some regions of the country, such as economically backward states with high incidence of poverty, tribal and remote areas, regions more prone to natural disasters etc. In facts, the states of Uttar Pradesh (eastern and south-eastern parts), Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, parts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra account for largest number of food insecure people in the country.
Poor people suffer from chronic hunger because of their very low income and in turn inability to buy food even for survival. 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 causal labor, e.g., there is less work for casual construction labor during the rainy season. This type of hunger exists when a person is unable to get work for the entire year.
Food Security In India
India has become self-sufficient in food grains during the last thirty years because of a variety of crops grown all over the country. The availability of food grains at the country level has further been ensured with a carefully designed food security system by the government.
This system has two components
- Buffer Stock
- Public Distribution System?
What is Buffer Stock?
Buffer Stock is the stock of food grains, namely wheat and rice procured by the government through Food Corporation of India (FCI). The FCI purchases wheat and rice from the farmers in states where there is surplus production. The farmers are paid a pre-announced price for their crops. The price is called Minimum Support Price, The MSP is declared by the government every year before the sowing season the provide incentives to the farmers for raising the production of these crops.
What is the Public Distribution System?
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.
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