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.

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