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Literature Review on Food Security of India

Demand for food has gone up in developing countries with high population growth. It has stabilized in developed countries. Farm technology has greatly improved in developed countries, while it has stagnated in developing countries. Thus, food prices have typically risen in emerging countries, and those in developed countries have reduced.

Declining food prices in developed countries have lowered farmers 'incomes. The government sought to raise farmers' rates. This brought more output and surplus. Those countries are typically exporters. Rising food prices in developed countries have hurt consumers or other industry staff. The government has been trying to lower food prices. This not only affects the income of the farmers but also the output.

Food security, as defined by the United Nations' Committee on World Food Security, means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.

Developing countries like India tend to be food importers. Food security comprises the accessibility and affordability of food. Economic development and/or infrastructure construction are crucial to addressing a food shortage. The housing of food stored for a rainy day or extension of the world food supply is a safer way of coping with the problem. Maintaining agricultural capital, including water and soil, serves the purpose of global food protection.

According to UN-India, there are nearly 195 million undernourished people in India, which is a quarter of the world's hunger burden. Also, roughly 43% of children in India are chronically undernourished. India ranks 71 out of 113 major countries in terms of food security index 2020.

Literature Review
  1. Food Security Policy in India: Challenges and Performance[1]

    Scholarly article titled 'Food Security Policy in India: Challenges and Performance' authored by Om Jee Ranjan extensively addresses the situation of food availability for every person, examines the actual challenges of food security, and tries to scrutinise related government policies and their efforts. This paper is organized into three sections- the first section elaborates the concept of Food Security and its dimensions. The second section of this paper examines the issues and Indian Government's policies related to Food Security; and the third and final section is the denouement of this paper.

    Food security is one of the burning issues of this time. It is one of the fundamental rights. Without food insurance, we cannot achieve our MDG. Today about one-third Indians are not ensured to get food as required. For ensuring at all times, basic food for all, we have to improve our production, improve our purchasing power and make a sustainable strategy in this direction. Food security is like a life improvement vehicle with four gears - availability, approach, allocation and absorption.

    The meeting point of these four components might be called an optimum place for food security. Therefore, the need to improve these four components in every place in India is sacrosanct. In addition, food security behaves like a prism, where the convergence of many (about seven points) necessity points, results in an outcome of a better plan to ensure food security.

    These days, India has a huge buffer stock and we gain surplus production of food grains annually. After the first Green Revolution, famines similar to black terror had been terminated. Even though, malnutrition, unavailability of sufficient food grain are still creating huge barrier for our sustainable development.

    Most people are now living below the poverty line, which means they do not have any resource even to get two meals for survival. Many people are still unemployed and want work to be able to live with one's own desires and create one's own personal world as they envisioned. Without resolving this problem, we cannot think of becoming an economic power in this century.

    Consequently, a plethora of supporting programmes has been launched by the Government of India for the achievement of desired goals, since 1960. Some schemes were modified into successive schemes and some were demolished.

    Food accessibility is increased through employment generation and employment can be procreated by the government. The problem of malnutrition is much more critical than food insecurity because it cannot be solved by surplus production or employment generation. They can only be solved, when health status rises and basic health facilities are affordable and reachable to all.

    This paper attempted to examine and describe the realities, challenges and policies in Food Security in India. As we know, food availability is a necessary condition for food security and India has become well capable in this regard. But due to change in consumption patterns, a need to increase diversification in production and improvement in allied schemes is demanded.

    The Government of India provides 25 kg rice and wheat at 3 rupees and 2 rupees per kg under the National Food Security Law but this is not a sufficient effort to achieve food security in the longer run.

    Ultimately, India has in its sleeves, many schemes and policies to dissolve food insecurity and malnutrition. Yet these problems are still staring at our face. Having said that, the Self- help- group approaches, more dedicated and efficient delivery system can play a decisive role in ensuring food security.
  2. Food Security in India: Trends, Patterns and Determinants [2]

    In an article titled 'Food Security in India: Trends, Patterns and Determinants' written by Anjani Kumar, M.C.S. Bantilan, Praduman Kumar, Sant Kumar and Shiv Jee has examined the trends in on food security in India with the latest available evidences in terms of availability, access and absorption, and has observed that all these dimensions are interrelated. The findings have also shed light on food management policies and their impact on food security.

    The persistence of nutritional deficiency suggests the need to vigorously pursue long-term strategies for augmenting food production, especially through enhancement in productivity. Streamlining and tightening of the food distribution system is equally important. There is a need for further research to understand the consistently poor performance of PDS in some states and reasons behind improvement in others. The future of the NFSA depends a great deal on the success of the PDS across the country.

    The positive relationship between household income and nutritional intake suggests that the anti-poverty programmes should be continued, broadened and enhanced to achieve the desired outcome. Besides, increasing the efficiency of public expenditure and strengthening of social safety net programmes (like MNREGS, ICDS, NFSM, Mid-Day Meal, PDS, etc.) must be accorded high priority in the future planning process of the country. The lessons learnt from the successful states in PDS management should be replicated in poor-performing states. An alternative system of PDS can also be explored in these states.
  3. Food Security and Nutrition: Vision 2020 [3]

    In a scholarly article named 'Food Security and Nutrition: Vision 2020' written by R. Radhakrishna and K. Venkata Reddy mentioned that while India achieved success in combating transient foodinsecurity causedby droughts or floods, it miserably failed to make muchdent in chronic food insecurity as reflected in the low energy intake and high incidences of malnutrition. The overall improvement in nutritional statushas also beenvery slow.

    There is a chronic under-nourishment in about half of the population, particularly among the vulnerable groups of children, women and elderly from the lower half of the expenditure class. Curiously, theproportion of consumption expenditure spent on food is slowly going down even in the households with chronic under-nourishment. Under nourishment in the bottom 30% of the expenditure class is alarming.

    And even the middle 40% is not free from it. The mounting food stocks miserably failed to banish mass under-nourishment. While the current growth rate would significantly reduce income poverty by 2010, chronic food insecurity is likely to persist. Moreover, with the recent shift to a more market-oriented and outward-looking macro-policies, the poor are likely to be exposed to the resultant risk of market uncertainties. As a result several types of programmes need to be targeted exclusively to the poor.

    Improvement in food consumption is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for overcoming the problem of malnutrition in India. Apart from inadequate food consumption, the other important causes of malnutrition are high incidence of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections and behavioural factors such as faulty child feeding and weaning practices, all of which contribute to the low absorption of nutrients from the food consumed. Economic growth, left to itself, may not have a dramatic impact on nutritional status in the near future, although it provides greater opportunities for public intervention. Effective and efficient food and environmental interventions are needed until all the citizens are adequately fed.
  4. Food and Nutrition in India: Facts and Interpretation [4]

    In an article titled 'Food and Nutrition in India: Facts and Interpretation' written by Angus Deaton, Jean Dreze r reviews recent evidence on food intake and nutrition in India. It attempts to make sense of various puzzles, particularly the decline of average calorie intake during the last 25 years. This decline has occurred across the distribution of real per capita expenditure, in spite of increases in real income and no long-term increase in the relative price of food.

    One hypothesis is that calorie requirements have declined due to lower levels of physical activity or improvements in the health environment. If correct, this does not imply that there are no calorie deficits in the Indian population - nothing could be further from the truth. These deficits are reflected in some of the worst anthropom�trie indicators in the world, and the sluggish rate of improvement of these indicators is of major concern. Yet recent trends remain confused and there is an urgent need for better nutrition monitoring.
  5. Food Security in India: Performance and Concerns

    The author Prof. Kalpana Singh has written an article named 'Food Security in India: Performance and Concerns'. She described that, one of the prime concerns of India's policies has been the food and nutritional security to its population. The three important components of food security are: availability, access, and absorption (nutrition). These three are interrelated. The major aim of this paper is to examine the performance in food security in India in respect of these three components. In respect of availability.

    The average annual growth rates in Yields of Food grain Production and in Area under cultivation for Food grain Production have been computed for five time periods; pre green revolution 1950-51 to 66-67), early green revolution (1967-68 to 1979-80), mature green revolution (1980-81 to 1989-90), early economic reforms (1990-91 to 1999-00), and economic reforms (2000-01 to 2011-12). The food grains production has deteriorated when India entered in the era of globalization.

    The free market play has adversely affected the production of food grains and the rate of growth of food grains production declined after the introduction of New Economic Policy (NEP) in India. So far as the accessibility aspect of food security is concerned, long term trend in consumption pattern at household level shows that per capita direct consumption of food grains has been declining. Further India's performance in food security on nutritional outcomes has not been very satisfactory.

    The Global Food Security Index 2012 released in New Delhi in September, 2012, placed India in a "moderate" category. It ranked India 66th among 105 nations and cited affordability rather than availability as a key food security threat for Indians. India scored highest in food availability (51.3) but lowest (38.4) in terms of food access. It also points to its poor ability to move food efficiently because of infrastructure problems. Similarly, in the food security index 2013, India slipped to 70th position. We live in paradoxical times, and it is not the shortage of food but the lack of a proper food distribution network that is to blame.
  6. Food Security in India: Issues and Challenges[5]

    The scholarly article titled 'Food Security in India: Issues and Challenges' written by Pramod Kumar, P. Anbukkani, D.R. Singh and Amit Kar described that, India's half of population is struggling to find food on their plate, coping with stern starvation and droughts on the flipper side. India is home to the largest number of hungry people in the world with over 200 million people.

    The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2013 ranks India at the bottom with 63rd position (out of 84 countries)with a GHI of 23.90, which the index characterizes as "alarming" food security situation. Major issues of food security in India are what will be the impact of such large government foodgrain procurement on the open market prices.

    Given the inefficiencies and leakages in the current distribution system, identify the principal areas of reform of the PDS and the alternative mechanisms of reaching the foodgrain/subsidy to the entitled households. Ways to forward is go for a universal right to food under which everyone is entitled to get subsidised foodgrains from the PDS.

    It is also suggested that instead of identifying the poor, it would be much easier to identify the rich to exclude them. Systems of storage, distribution, accountability and monitoring have to be put in place to ensure that there is minimal leakage. Provision of decentralized procurement needs to be implemented.

    More states need to be brought under the procurement net and the procurement of coarse cereals increased. The food coupon or Aadhaar card-linked entitlement would eliminate the problem of having to procure and distribute more than 500 lakh tonnes of foodgrains every year as also the problem of diversion.
  7. Food Security in India: Concepts, Realities & Innovations [6]

    A article named 'Food Security in India: Concepts, Realities & Innovations' is penned by Prof. BJ Lathi and Prof. Parag Narkhede. They described that, Food security, in general, is increasingly affected by global economic and environmental phenomena. Under this, the food prices are affected due to food scarcity which causes social and political instability, and can escalate humanitarian crises.

    In this context it is better to study the definition of food security given by the Rome Declaration on World Food Security at the World Food Summit, held in 1996. Here the researchers wanted to understand the impact of food security w.r.t. a Global concern. The definition as per the Rome Declaration is, "food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life."

    On the same guidelines India‟s initiatives to ensure food security for its citizen‟s ranges from concerted efforts to boost agricultural production to far-ranging market interventions aimed at price stabilisation. Besides, measures have been introduced to improve the access to food of the poor people through public distribution and income generating schemes. (Some of the schemes have been highlighted in the paper.)

    The problem of underinvestment in agriculture as far as the status of India w.r.t. world is compounded during economic turmoil, because when both private and public budgets contract, investments tend to be cut to a greater extent than other expenditures in all sectors � including agriculture.

    In trying to cope with the burden of consecutive food and economic crises certain advances in the area of bio-nanotechnology would go a long way in helping food security. Bionanotechnology will take agriculture from the era of genetically modified (GM) crops to the brave new world of atomically modified organisms. This paper is divided into three parts & deals with conceptual review, realities-government measures & finally innovations towards food security.
  8. Economic and Environmental Impact of National Food Security Act of India [7]

    In a research article titled 'Economic and Environmental Impact of National Food Security Act of India' which is authored by Priyam Sengupta and Kakali Mukhopadhyay mentioned that, the Government of India has enacted the National Food Security Act (NFSA) on September 12, 2013.

    The NFSA aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India's population. The legislation is a landmark, and perhaps the largest food security program in the world. The ambitious programme of the Government, besides offering several opportunities, throws many challenges in its implementation. In this background, the current paper evaluates the widespread impact of implementing NFSA on the Indian economy.

    The study applied a modified Leontief and Ghosh model under Input�output framework. The study also assessed the environmental impact of this act focusing on various environmental indicators. Further, the additional land requirement, labour generation and GDP growth that NFSA entails have also been computed. The impacts on sectoral prices have also been calculated.

    The result shows that the food grain sector has to grow by 3.75 % annually to match provision of food grains according to the norm set by the act. Apart from the targeted food grains sector, we noticed some indirect impact on other sectors such as Chemicals and Chemical Products, Mineral Fuels, Live stock products and Other Oilseeds and Crops.

    Overall the country needs to gear up in terms of food grain productivity, otherwise, NFSA must be supplemented by import, which would entail huge burden to the country's exchequer. On the other hand, the additional GDP and labour growth is expected to generate 1.51 % and 6.21 % respectively due to NFSA compared to 2016�17. But the impact on the environment is also not favourable.

    The economy is likely to generate additional GHG emissions of 10.39 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent due to this act. A significant generation of water pollution is also expected. The overall land requirement on account of NFSA has been found to be sizeable whose availability remains as a big constraint. The study also throws some insight on the achievements of The Millennium Development Goals in the context of NFSA.

    In the context of the Indian sub-continent, we find a perfect synergy between the basic objective of the National Food Security Act and the Millennium Development Goal. Overall, NFSA impact will enhance the growth of the economy. However, additional pressure on the environment and land cannot be ignored. For sustainable food grains production in the economy, the nation should consider the improvement of agricultural productivity as well as to minimize the environmental effect by introducing more sustainable farming practices.
  9. Indian Food Security From Problem to Solution Through Household Food Security[8]

    Author Rika Isnarti in her article 'Indian Food Security From Problem to Solution Through Household Food Security' assesses food security in India, especially in a rural area where food security conditions are far behind. India is one of the countries suffering from food insecurity that leads to nutrition insecurity.

    To achieve food security is not about how much food is being produced or analyzed the availability of f ood but also about food utility, a condition where everyone can achieve food nutrition with the amount of food being produced. So, food security is also about how people can buy food at a fair price and access to free from malnutrition and obtain good dietary for a healthy life, the utility of food.

    Therefore, if we want to achieve food security, this is important to provide high nutritional food at an affordable price rather than provide high food production, but people have no access to it. Therefore, thi s paper assesses India's problem in food security, impact, and solutions, Which on food security at the household level. This research is qualitative research that utilizes library research to gather and analyze the data.

    It found that the Indian food security problem mostly occurs in rural areas, which causes malnutrition. Therefore, to achieve food security in India, the government combines government programs with household and women programs such as giving subsidy for small and poor households, giving food to children and subsidizing grain for farmers, and create a home garden.
  10. Food Security in India: Evolution, Efforts and Problems [9]

    In the article titled 'Food Security in India: Evolution, Efforts and Problems' author D. P. K. Pillay and T. K. Manoj Kumar examines India's efforts to achieve food security. It traces the problem, from the inadequate production of food grains during colonial times, to the challenges of procurement, storage and distribution of cereals in post-independence India, after achieving self-sufficiency in food production.

    The establishment of the Public Distribution System (PDS) and its evolution into the Targeted PDS and the National Food Security Act are outlined. The role of the Food Corporation of India and the efforts to improve it, are discussed. A critical analysis of India's food security system is made in light of present day problems.
Way Forward:
  • 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.
  • The right to food is a well established principle of international human rights law. It has evolved to include an obligation for state parties to respect, protect, and fulfil their citizens' right to food security.
  • As a state party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, India has the obligation to ensure the right to be free from hunger and the right to adequate food.
  • India needs to adopt a policy that brings together diverse issues such as inequality, food diversity, indigenous rights and environmental justice to ensure sustainable food security.


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