Food Security, Paradigm Shift, Sustainable and Challenges to Food Security, National Commission on Farmers (2004 − 06)

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  • Food is the first among the hierarchical needs of the humans (Maslow’s basic needs)

  • Achieving food security for all has been a national goal since 1947

  • JL Nehru said – “Everything else can wait, but not agriculture”.

What is FS?

Physical, economic, and social access to balanced diet, clean drinking water, environmental hygiene and primary healthcare

Why is Food Security Essential?

  • Support 1 billion people

  • Employment provision

  • Malnutrition is closely linked to food security

  • Hence, having food security (as defined above) can increase human capabilities

  • Remove unfreedoms (Sen: Development as Freedom)

What is the Scenario in India?

  • Under and malnutrition remains widespread

    • Statistic

  • Mostly children and women suffer the most

Paradigm Shift

  • Shifted from a patronage to a rights approach.

  • Hence now we are moving towards having legal rights through legislations.

  • National Food Security Bill will confer the specified group the legal right to food.

Sustainable Food Security

  • We need not just food security but sustainable food security.

  • To achieve sustainable food security, following need attention

    • Availability of food: function of production and import

    • Access to food: function of purchasing power and employment

    • Absorption of food: function of clean drinking water, sanitation and healthcare

  • Thus, food and non-food factors are essential in sustainable food security

  • Government schemes aimed at improving the non-food aspects of food security

    • Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission

    • Total Sanitation Programme

    • National Rural Health Mission

  • Programmes like MNREGA help in providing the minimum purchasing power to purchase food

  • PDS is there for distribution to ensure access to food

  • Government schemes to increase availability of food

    • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana

    • National Food Security Mission

    • National Horticulture Mission

Challenges to Food Security

  • Agriculture is still very vulnerable to the behaviour of the monsoon

  • We have to produce food for not just 1.2 bn people but for about a billion farm animals as well

  • Agriculture in India is not just a food producing machinery but a source of employment for a majority of people

National Commission on Farmers (2004-06)

  • Has provided a detailed strategy for the agricultural progress of India

Strategy has following components

  • Conserve the gains in the areas of green revolution (UP, Punjab etc) through climate resilient farming

  • Extend the gains of green revolution to the excluded areas: Eastern India

  • Make new gains in rainfed areas which constitute nearly sixty percent of the cultivated area. RWH and Watershed Mgmt.