Dimensions of Food Security
2025 might see India at the threshold of being the most populous country according to World Bank Data sources. With such an alarming threat what comes attached is the possibility of Food Insecurity. Such situations tail in the additional challenges like shrinkage of agricultural land and more. Along with population control measures, maintaining food security holds utmost importance now.
Food security, the physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food is an essential factor for a nation. For a country to develop, its people should lead an active and healthy life based on preferred and balanced diet food intake.
Now that we know the importance and dimensions of Food Security, here is an insight on where does India stand when it comes to Food Security?
Indian agriculture, since the past decade has witnessed high growth in economy and high food grain productivity at the national level. Despite the fact, India is held back in the race of development with the following unfavorable figures:
- 29% of the 872.9 million undernourished people (FAO)
- 49% of the world’s underweight children (WHO)
- 34% of the world’s undersized children (WHO)
- 46% and above undernourished children (WHO)
India has also witnessed a considerable decline in its child nutritional status & child mortality rate, which are poorer compared to Sub-Saharan African Countries & neighboring South Asian countries.
To add to the adversities, India has tripped over to a position, which goes below the ranking of neighboring countries like China, Nepal and Pakistan.
Another challenge that food security faces in India is the factor of Gender Inequality.
• Food security is a major matter of concern for women who are incapable or disallowed employment- all formal, informal or agricultural.
• Despite counted among developing nations, percentage of chronically hungry women is alarmingly high.
Here the question arises, what can be the initial steps that can improve food security in India?
Alike countries with increased efficiency in Food Security, to attain the same position India can implement the process that approaches:
- Food Availability
- Community Farming.
- Emphasize richly nutritious native foods like Ragi.
- Decreasing production cost through R&D interventions thereby increasing productivity.
- Increase usage of public storage food facilities, and encourage private sector investment towards these amenities.
- BPL rates should be revised as it is very low causing in limited food availability catering to very small segment of poor people.
- Food Access
- Farmer-oriented Marketing and Processing
- Producer Owned Companies
- Value addition close to production
- Food Safety Network
- Adopt usage of Food Coupons, Food Stamps, Food Credit Cards
- Direct Cash Transfer
- Reduce the Supply Chain
- Non-farm Involvements
- Support and reinforce the management and distribution of the food reserves through PPP
- Maintaining Gender Equality
- It is commonly observed that working women spend the lion share of their income on food and children’s needs.
- Studies also claim that if women are allowed access to productive resources as men, women is capable of boosting yield by 20 to 30 %; expanding the overall agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5 to 4 %. This in turn can prove to be beneficial in globally reducing the number of hungry people by 12 to17 %.