FOOD SECURITY IN RURAL INDIA.
Updated: Mar 16
Date- 20th July 2021
As indicated by the 2011 Census, 833 million individuals right now live in provincial India. They generally rely on agrarian action for their job. Notwithstanding 2.5 occasions more yield of significant food grains since 1950, under and lack of healthy sustenance (particularly among kids and ladies) stay boundless in India. As per the World Food Program, almost half of the world's ravenous live in India and 35% of the all-out populace is food shaky, so ensuring food security should have an extraordinary significance in India. FAO (2002)defined food security as a circumstance that exists when all individuals, consistently have physical, social and economic access to adequate, protected and nutritious food that meets their dietary requirements and food preferences for a functioning and sound life". India has tested a few projects for improving food security for example Public Distribution Services (PDS), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Mid-day Meals Program, Provision of the wellbeing offices, Employment Targeted Programs. Yet India has not been totally ready to take care of the issue of persistent food uncertainty. In the current paper the pattern of development rates underway and yields of food grains have been basically analyzed alongside India's exhibition, difficulties, and arrangements in
food security. In this research paper we will find out about the initiatives took by the government to eradicate poverty and the failures that they have faced as a repercussion of their actions. There are also personalized opinions of the author about the changes as recommendations to be made to excel and succeed in the process of eradication of poverty.
Keywords: poverty, India, food security, yield, mid-day meal, rural poverty.
According to the World Food Programme, around 50% of the world’s hungry live in India. Food Insecurity, a major threat all over the globe and in particular India which exists, is defined by the Food and Agricultural Organisation in 1996 stating that the people who are not capable of attaining the physical and economical needs which lack insufficient, safe and nutritious food for the people to lead a daily livelihood. Many of the main reasons for the decline of the national economy is due food insecurity that has led to lower cognitive ability, diminished work performance and substantial productivity losses. Over the years, there has been a downscale in the infant mortality ratio, maternal mortality ratio, death prevalent showing sheer progress and increase in the life mortality of
the while-which. There has been an increase in the outcome of the agricultural sector over the years and India ranks in the 2 nd position all over the world. The agriculture allied tertiary sectors like fishery and forestry have also had 18.6% GDP growth over 60% of employment increase. Despite many increases and growth, there still prevails to be a vast percentage of children and adults suffering over through chronic hunger and malnutrition with India having 237.7 million in number in 2005–07.
The pattern of food production and yield in India
The production of rice and wheat has a gradual decrease over the years from 24% and 1.7%
respectively and the yield being 19 times and 3.10 times respectively in the year 2011. During the year 1981, there were great hikes in the yield of rice and wheat due to the green revolution and over the years it decreased which wasn’t a good sign for India’s self-sufficient growth. There has also been a record of the decrease in the yield of cereals and pulses around the same year 2011.
Reasons for the declining production and the existing food insecurity in India:
Existing food insecurity in Rural India
There is a huge agricultural instability along with inadequate resources and markets and one of the main reasons for the agrarian society to face these difficult situations are because of the slack in the government agrarian’s development expenditure in the nineties. In the 90’s India’s agricultural expenditure was reduced to being 1.9% and in 2004 it again increased to be 2.4%. Lack of job, education, and climate changes have also been a factor and moreover, the impact was on the rain-fed crops, i.e. rice and wheat. For the tribal communities, habitation in remote difficult terrains and the
the practice of subsistence farming has led to significant economic backwardness.
The following are the main reasons for the existing food insecurity in India:
Increase in the population and the unavailability of food grains and other essentials.
An increase in the price of crude oil had made the transportation of food grains difficult and also the devaluation of the dollar.
During globalization, agricultural products were commercialized and the food grains production gradually decreased.
Urbanization and industrialization have encroached on all the agricultural lands.
The fertility of the lands has been reduced due to the usage of chemical fertilizers.
Decrease in the groundwater level due to the water exploitation by the agricultural, industrial and domestic usage.
School Children’s food insecurity and its causes
The children have inculcated food insecurity due to the overpopulation, lack of education, and especially the girl children due to gender inequality. The lack of knowledge that a mother’s child has is the main reason for children that leads to malnutrition among the children where the food resources are not used properly as they are limited. Gender inequality has cost a girl child a fortune and it is a disadvantage to a woman to procure proper food as compared to a male child. In rural
areas, male children are sent to school and they get an opportunity to secure themselves with the mid-day scheme provided by the government whereas the females are being denied their right to education as well as their livelihood.
Faulty Food Distribution System and programs
The targeted public distribution system(TDPS) is a disadvantage as it differs from state to state and the criteria for being under the BPL (Below Poverty Line) is different for each and every state. The inaccuracy in the classification of children and adults in the BPL or the APL (Above Poverty Line) has effectively resulted in food insecurity. There have been a lot of programmes established by the government in order to protect the children and make sure that they get proper and healthy meals.
One among them is the mid-day meal organized in the schools of rural areas and the difficulties that the children face concerning gender inequality as mentioned above. Also, in the states like Bihar and Orissa where the poverty ratio is very high, improper implementation and failure to implement
these programmes effectively have weighed the impact of food insecurity even more. The ministries of the government’s such as the Ministry of Women and Child Health, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Finance’s inaccurate workflows also resulted in aiding hand to the food insecurity.
Efforts laid down to the reduction of food insecurity
There are several schemes, policies, and programmes that the government has established to safeguard the people in the rural areas ensuring proper food security.
Public Distribution System(PDS)
It is an essential effort pursued by the government of India for attaining food security. The main motive of this system was to provide the consumers with fair, cheap and subsidised prices to the consumer to protect and prevent them from the rising prices of the food commodities and to maintain a minimum nutritional level among the population. The commodities that are included in the PDS are rice, wheat, sugar, and kerosene and all these items have accounted for over 86% of PDS sales and Rs.30,000 crores annually to over 160 million families according to the reports generated in 2012.
Targeted Public Distribution System(TPDS)
This system was initiated by the GOI in the year June 1997 with a motive to provide food grains to the below poverty level people. The people were classified into BPL and APL groups where the people falling under the BPL category were given 10 kgs of food grains per month which was later increased to 35 kgs per month to BPL households.
National Food Security Mission
It is a programme aided by the central Government established in 2007 to increase the production of rice, wheat and pulses by 10, 8 and 2 million respectively in the year 2011-12.
Mid Day Meal Scheme
It is a nationwide implemented programme in the year 1975to improve the enrolment and regular attendance and reduce the drop out of the school student because of less nutritional levels present in the students. This scheme is considered to be one of the world’s largest nutrition programmes ensuring that the school students availed 100 grams of food grains per day or 3kgs of food grains per month to the children in the age of 6 to 14 years old.
Integrated Child Development Services
It's a programme that aims in the improvement of nutrition of children up to the age of 6 and also for pregnant ladies and lactating mothers. The 6 basic services that are covered in this programme are supplementary feeding, immunisation, health check-ups, referral services, non-formal pre-school education, and advice on health and nutrition.
ANTYODAYA ANNA YOJANA
To make TPDS more engaged and designated towards the most unfortunate part of the populace, the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) was established in December 2000. Initially, AAY examined recognisable proof of crore least fortunate of the helpless families from among the BPL families covered under TPDS inside the states and giving them food grains at a highly sponsored pace of Rs 2/kg for wheat and Rs 3/kg for rice. The AAY Scheme has been extended in the resulting years and by and by it is covering 2.5 crore households.
Checking and opportune assessment of healthful projects
A total local area based methodology should be received. Zero in on even straightforward
mediations like advancing restrictive breastfeeding, legitimate corresponding taking care of and development checking and advancement can be required to give extraordinary outcomes.
Endeavors ought to be made by the concerned wellbeing divisions and specialists to start and manage the working of the nourishment-related plans productively. Yearly reviews and quick evaluations overviews could be a portion of the courses through which program results can be estimated. Assessments should be conveniently performed and ought to give applicable data in regards to the adequacy of mediations. The utilization of data innovation to further develop program checking can be considered as well.
Local area support and intersectoral coordination
Redoing of existing direct sustenance projects to empower the executives by ladies' Self Help Groups (SHGs) and/or nearby bodies alongside direction and preparing of local area wellbeing labourers, Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) individuals, other assessment pioneers, guardians, and different partners can be another region, whenever tended to, can give positive outcomes.
Conveying an exceptionally fundamental, all-around designated bundle of nourishment
administrations through a multi-sectorial methodology will further develop the sustenance level of individuals. Consideration should be given to class-based intercessions including cleanliness, sterilization, and nourishment training. Local area based sustenance programs that make scope for local area support should be worked with by compelling approach execution.
Drawbacks of the Government established programmes to improve food
security The MDM scheme is contorted and supply quantity is not sufficient and rampant corruption prevails out with the concerned ministries and authorities.
In many countries and its states, the dishonest and faulty acts of the ration shop workers make the consumers buy a lesser amount of commodities or cheaper quality goods which hampers the food security of the rural people.
Because of the failure or improper functioning of these programmes, the government have taken some initiatives in establishing some employment opportunity-related programmes to improve the quality and the living of the life of a person in the real areas. A few of the landmark programmes among that would be Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), National Rural Employment Programme (NREP), Training of Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM), National Rural Livelihood Mission.
The Planning Commission of India's definition of poverty for categorizing BPL is extremely
problematic because there is a considerable risk of misidentification and exclusion of vulnerable poor people from TPDS in those circumstances.
The PDS operation has resulted in an overall price increase, as a result of the government's
significant annual buying of food grains, which limits the net quantities accessible in the market.
The BPL household lists are also inadequate. It demonstrates the political and economic
predominance of powerful people over TPDS.
Regional discrepancies in the allocation of food grains under the PDS have also been discovered. Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and West Bengal account for over 80% of India's total rural poor but receive very little PDS funding.
Hunger and malnutrition likely continue despite large supplies of food grains in the Food
Corporation of India's (FCI) godowns. It demonstrates the inefficiency of food-based safety net programs. Here are some of the root causes of failure that have been identified.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The first step in achieving food security is to ensure that agricultural production, yield, storage, marketization, and delivery systems are all sustainable. It is to appeal for converting the green revolution into the ever-green revolution by mainstreaming the notion of ecology in technology development and distribution to achieve considerable progress in agricultural evolution.
Organic farming and green agriculture are claimed as two crucial avenues for creating an ever-green revolution. Both of these are environmentally benign, as they will aid in the preservation of soil, water, biodiversity, forests, and the atmosphere, as well as increasing the number of food grains.
The question of how to attain food security in the face of a changing climate has become highly significant. India's geo-climatic conditions are catastrophe inclined. Floods, dry season, typhoons tremor, and avalanches make a hefty loss of horticulture. So we need proactive utilization of different kinds of preparation measures, steady foundation, and execution of hazard decrease components to battle against catastrophe.
”Right to food" ought to be perceived as a crucial right. Solid political will, adequate budgetary arrangement, change in existing conveyance instrument, and local area participation are of colossal significance for accomplishing food security.
Change of food-based security net program and work age program to guarantee food and sustenance privileges of poor people and underestimated rustic individuals.
The change in approach in regards to rural creation and land the executives, broadly and globally depends on the reason that since horticulture is progressively turning into the area of ladies, improvement of ladies gifts through the land will build creation, lessen neediness and guarantee food security.
The pace of increment of populace development is unequivocally related to food weakness. So to bring out soundness in populace development we need to effectively execute employment generation programs and education. Finally, we can say that we should need to accomplish food security however not in the method of giving food grains to everyone individuals of India since it's anything but a lasting solution for accomplishing food security. Rather than this, the Centre ought to be given to make this immense country poor to act naturally subordinate by the improvement of training, work, infrastructural advancement in farming and limited scope industry so they can satisfy the need of food significantly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
S Sai Srivatsav
Course: BA. LLB(Hons)
Name of the College/ University: School of Law, Christ University, Bangalore