Food Security in India for UPSC Exams

7 minute read
Food Security in India for UPSC Exams

Can you imagine a life without nutritious food? Merely thinking about that situation is frightening yet a large section of the population face it as a reality. The definition of food security as given by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security says that people across the world should have easy access to hygienic food. It means people should have an economic ability to buy food which depends on the sufficient availability of the food. The consumed food, consequently, should be nutritious to make an impact on a person’s well being. Over the years, food security has taken unprecedented importance in the functioning of the government and has thus become an important aspect for individuals. In this blog, let’s explore more about food security in India in pretext to the UPSC exam. 

Food Security in India and its Importance 

Youtube: Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Food security in India is an important concern and over the years, it has started receiving attention due to it. Its importance is manifolds and only ensuring food security can result in a country that values the needs of the citizens. Mentioned below are some of the importance of food security in India. 

1. Food security essentially means to ensure that there is a sufficient amount of food available in a country to meet the demands of the population. Also, in case of a catastrophe, the outbreak of a disease or any other devastating circumstance, a nation can survive only if there is surplus availability of food. Food security in India should be ensured regularly, because of it being vulnerable to natural calamities.

2. Food is an essential commodity and should therefore be affordable for all. Every person should be able to buy food which is possible only with the proper regulation of prices. This emphasizes why food security in India is important which has a large population living on low per capita income. Food prices can be regulated by stopping the illegal hoarding of the large amounts of food whenever there is a shortage in supply and an increase in demand.

3. It is also important to make sure that the food is utilized properly and has a positive impact on the person consuming it. It should be ensured that the food is clean and nutritious so that it helps in the growth of the children. Hygienic food is a necessity. Over the years it has been a top priority of every government.

4. Food security in India can be ensured by providing a boost to the agricultural sector by ensuring a regular supply of water, crops, and important materials related to agriculture. Farmers should be given a fair price for their products and this will inevitably lead to a boost in the agricultural yield.

5. It is necessary to increase the homegrown supply of food and to decrease dependency on exports. This will make the country self-sufficient, increase economic growth, and also provide job opportunities for people in this sector that will help reduce the graph of poverty drastically.

There are various steps taken by the government to ensure proper Food Security in the nation. The agricultural revolution was a prominent one in that life.
To know more read our blog on – What is Golden Revolution?

Food Security Programmes in India

There have been several government-initiated programs for food security in India. The government undertakes the responsibility to ensure that food which is a basic right is available to all in sufficient quantity. Tabulated below are the core food security programs in India at a glance. 

Programs  Brief description 
National Food Security Mission  It is a central government initiative launched in 2007. The aim of this scheme is to increase the production of rice, wheat and other crops.
Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana It was also launched in the year 2007. Its name was later changed to Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sector Rejuvenation. Its main objective was to help states accelerate their agricultural production by giving offering them incentives and greater autonomy on the concern of agriculture
The National Food Security Act It was initiated in 2013. Its aim was to help the rural population(75%) and the urban population(50%) by offering food grains at a subsidized rate than the market price.
Massive Irrigation and Soil and Water Harvesting Programme The focus of the program was to increase irrigation land to increase the crop yield. It was aimed to increase  the then 90 million hectares to a huge 103 million hectares by the year of 2017.
E-Market This is an electronic national agricultural market to connect all the wholesale produce markets to the online trading platform. 

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Food Security Challenges in India

Food security in India is a major challenge and there are several aspects to it. With an ever-growing population and decreasing productive land, food security is even harder to achieve than before. Enlisted below are some of the main challenges to food security in India. 

1. The foremost challenge to food security in India is the unpredictable weather situation. Lack of proper rain destroys crops. Water-intensive farming is completely dependent on the monsoon in India due to the lack of an irrigation system in every part of the country.

2. Lately, there has been a huge increase in the migration of rural people towards urban areas leading to an increase in unplanned and unhygienic localities. These migrants don’t have an assured means of livelihood and therefore often go without getting the right nutrition.  

3. People in rural areas still lack access to new and advanced farming tools increasing their dependence on natural resources which are insufficient and unpredictable. This decreases the yield from the farming lands and thereby adversely affects the food production of the country. 

4. Another challenge to food security in India is the rise in poverty. Millions don’t have the economic ability to buy food. They spend a large number of days without getting the right amount of food needed for sustenance.

5. Growth of industries has led to a sharp decrease in the agricultural land which will inevitably reduce food production in the country.

Have a look at the essential topics on Economics for UPSC!

Role of the Department of Food and Public Distribution

A department integral to the well-being of the citizens of a country, the department of food and public distribution works for the timely and efficient availability of food for every individual. Mentioned below are some of the key roles the department has to play.

  • The main objective of this department is to ensure food security of India through continuous procurement and distribution of food.
  • It also aims to provide the proper value of grains to the farmers. 
  • It is also the responsibility of the department to devise policies on import and export of food, sugar and edible oils.

International Organisations for Food Security Initiative

  • Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO): FAO was established as a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1945 with the objective is to help eliminate hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition.
  • World Food Programme (WFP): WFP was founded in 1963 for tackling food emergencies and initiating programmes to combat hunger worldwide.
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD): Set up in 1977 by United Nations, IFAD focuses on rural poverty reduction, working with poor rural populations in developing countries to eliminate poverty, hunger, and malnutrition.
  • World Bank: World Bank is one of the oldest international organisations in the world and it was founded in 1944, the World Bank is actively involved in funding food projects and programmes.
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): It was founded in 1972 as this institute for environmental issues but has been involved in tacking food crisis resulting from environmental issues. 
  • United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF): Founded in 1946, it is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide.

Revolutions for Food Production & Food Security

Important questions for UPSC on Food Security

  • The real challenge to India’s food security is poor grain management rather than a shortage of grain production. Comment. 
  • What are the institutional measures in place to ensure food security during pandemics? Examine.
  • Elaborate on the policy taken by the Government of India to meet the challenges of the food processing sector.
  • What are the different revolutions related to food production and processing in India?

Food Security in India Class 9 NCERT

Food Security in India Class 9 NCERT PDF

We hope this blog has covered all the important details regarding food security in India. Are you looking to appear for a competitive examination but are worried about how to go about it? Experts at Leverage Edu will help you discover new educational possibilities. Book your free 30 minutes of e-counselling with the team now and move a step closer to achieving your dream!

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