Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Food security: status and concerns of India

Kumar, Rajesh and Bagaria, Nidhi and Santra, Swarup (2014): Food security: status and concerns of India. Published in: The International Journal Of Humanities & Social Studies , Vol. 2, No. 1 (January 2014): pp. 108-116.

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At one hand, various factors like food production, rising food prices, poverty, unemployment, climate changes, efficient public distribution of food, affecting the food security are the major concerns at domestic front, passing of ambitious Food Security Bill in Sep, 2013 by UPA government in India to provide the basic food staples at highly subsidized prices aimed at ensuring the economic access to food for around two-third of its population coupled with India’s obligations of agriculture trade liberalization as a WTO member, exposes how liberalization of agriculture trade can affect India’s food security on the other. Out of 842 million, 214 million people are suffered from chronic hunger in India which is around 17percent of its total population and one fourth of total chronically hunger in the world (FAO, 2013). Almost half of children under age five years (48 percent) are chronically malnourished and one out of every five children in India under age five years is acutely malnourished i.e. wasted (NFHS-3, 2005-06). Among all this, income growth, poverty reduction from 45.3% in 1993-94 to 21.9% in 2011-12, food self-sufficiency and various government schemes to augment employment, health and nutritional status of the population over the years are the noticeable steps taken by GOI in the food security domain. Present paper focuses on status of food security based on its various dimensions such as food availability, access, utilization and stability and associated concerns that India has especially in the post reform period. It is found that though India has been among the fastest developing economy, the pace of reduction of hunger and undernourishment has remained sluggish and well below the developed countries (2 percent hunger and undernourished population). There are challenges at domestic and international level which require more effort on development of agriculture infrastructure, fiscal consolidation, efficient public distribution of food and effective bargaining at international trade forums to secure long term benefits for food security.

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