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Interventions towards Food Security in India- a case of Kerala state in South India - Essay Example

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Interventions towards Food Security in India- a case of Kerala state in South India

But this concept has undergone through considerable changes as self sufficiency or food surplus alone will not solve the problem of food security. Though India has been a food surplus country since the late 1960’s (Green Revolution) and India was successful in achieving self sufficiency of food, it could not solve the problem of food security (Ahluwalia, 1993, Dre’ze and Sen, 1989, Khatme and Alber, 1997). Hence, the concept of food security has to be more inclusive in order to capture the dimensions of the issue. Availability of food to the needy people is considered to be food security. Normally, food energy intake at household level has been given priority in assessing food security. But in the case of Kerala state in India, it will be unrealistic to expect food self sufficiency. But through public intervention methods, importantly through Public Distribution System, Kerala has done considerable successful interventions in food security, though the problem has not been solved fully. The issue of food security in the form of non-availability of sufficient calorie intake exists only in exceptional marginalized pockets of the state (Ahluwalia, 1993 and Dre’ze and Sen, 1995). ...
m of non-availability of sufficient calorie intake exists only in exceptional marginalized pockets of the state (Ahluwalia, 1993 and Dre’ze and Sen, 1995). The Problem of Food Security in India The problem of food insecurity persists in India, even though it is a food surplus and food grains exporting country. Massive scale of chronic hunger and malnutrition are the sides of this problem. The prevalence of malnutrition in India is higher than many of the very poor African countries. The percentage of under weight children below five, is 43 in India while it is 28 in Sub Saharan Africa and 42 in South Asia. Likewise, the number and proportion of people living in chronic hunger in India is far above than any other country in the world (UNICEF, 2010). But when the children below the age of three are considered, then the situation seems to be more severe with 45.9 percent of children as malnourished and the anemia prevalence of 56 percent women. Again, data from the NNMB reveal that nearly half of the adult population had a body mass index below the norm in 1993-94 (Datta, 1998; Suryanarayana, 1999 and Gulati etal,). It is to be noted that the rate of decline of the malnourished persons has been very slow. The situation has again been worsened during 2008-09 with rapid increase in prices of food items like rice, pulses, vegetables, fruits, tea and edible oil. In many parts of India, retail prices rose 20-25 percent for many items during this period (Patnaik, 2009). In this context it is worthwhile to assess the major public interventions in India aiming at enhancing food security. Policy interventions address the problem of food security from both angles- from household/individual levels and producers. The former is related with the distribution side and latter with ...Show more

Summary

Earlier, food availability and stability were considered the good indicators for measuring food security in any country and hence, achievement of self sufficiency was given higher priority in the food policies of the developing countries…
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