Food security in India was in a worrying state recently during the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite having one of the highest levels of farm productivity globally, India has one of the worst rates of undernutrition.
The existence of this dichotomy can be attributed to a number of factors.
Many families experienced income loss as a result of events like lockdowns, which ultimately created difficult circumstances for everyone’s access to food.
Challenges to Food Security in India have been a major cause of concern for the authorities over the past many years.
UPSC aspirants should have a thorough knowledge of statistics, facts, challenges and possible solutions concerning food security in India.
Let’s discuss at length the present status of food security in the country along with the challenges related to food security.
- To stimulate the agricultural industry.
- For having price control over food.
- Economic growth and employment creation will lead to poverty reduction.
- For commercial opportunities.
- To enhance global security and stability.
- For better health and healthcare.
Reasons Behind Challenges to Food Security in India:
The reasons for the challenges can be broadly divided into three categories which are given below.
The two factors examined in this category are stated below.
- Unavailability of Food
- Per Capita Income
The five factors examined in this category are stated below.
- Poor Environmental Conditions
- Gender Bias
This category contains four factors, which are given below.
- Nutritional initiatives that are poorly supervised.
- Inadequate Public Distribution System (PDS)
- Absence of Political Will
- Inadequate intersectoral coordination
The following are the primary food security problems in India:
- Population – Although agriculture employs a large portion of the Indian population, the availability of food for everybody is a difficulty due to the country’s growing population.
- Poverty- Poverty is one of the most significant difficulties that must be solved in order for the country to achieve the necessary level of food security. The proportion of persons living in poverty (BPL) is quite high.
- Changes in Climate – Climate change has had a significant impact on farming and agricultural activity in recent years. Some areas are experiencing flooding, while others are experiencing drought. Similar developments have had a significant impact on livestock, forestry, fisheries, and aquaculture.
- Corruption – Diverting grains to the open market for a higher margin, selling poor quality grains at ration stores, and inconsistent shop openings all contribute to the issue of food insecurity.
- Inadequate and improper grain storage facilities – Inadequate and improper grain storage facilities, are frequently stored outside under tarps that give little protection from dampness and pests.
- Lack of Awareness – A lack of knowledge and training on new farming practices, technology, and goods. Traditional farming methods take slightly longer and cause food grain output to be delayed, among other things.
- Unmonitored nutrition programs – Priority should be given to creating and implementing well-monitored nutrition programs.
To solve India’s food security challenge, a multi-pronged approach can be used. Some of the most essential tactics that can be implemented are listed below.
- Improving Food Storage Technologies and Increasing Agricultural Productivity
- People’s access to food and the ability to live below the poverty line (BPL)
- Concentrate more on programs to increase employment and purchasing power in rural and urban areas.
- Crop diversification and the establishment of food grain banks
- Nutritional Programs Monitoring
- Participation in the Community and Intersectoral Coordination
Besides this, UPSC aspirants must also know of important national and international organizations like the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), FAO and other food and agriculture-related organization.