Topic outline

    • Food Security in India

      Q51. Write a note on the role of cooperatives in providing food and related items.
      Explain the role of cooperatives in providing food and related items in different parts of country.

      Ans. Role of cooperatives in food security

      The cooperatives are also playing an important role in food security in India especially in the southern and western parts of the country. The cooperative societies set up shops to sell low priced goods to poor people. For example, out of all fair price shops running in Tamil Nadu, around 94 per cent are being run by the cooperatives. In Delhi, Mother Dairy is making strides in provision of milk and vegetables to the consumers at controlled rate decided by Government of Delhi. Amul is another success story of cooperatives in milk and milk products from Gujarat. It has brought about the White Revolution in the country. These are a few examples of many more cooperatives running in different parts of the country ensuring food security of different sections of society.


      Q52. Who are the people more prone to food insecurity?
      Explain about the people who are food insecure in India.
      Who are food insecure in India?

      Ans. Although a large section of people suffer from food and nutrition insecurity in India, the worst affected groups are:

      1. Landless people with little or no land to depend upon, traditional artisans, providers of traditional services, petty self-employed workers and destitute including beggars.
      2. People employed in ill-paid occupations and casual labour market.
      3. The SCs, STs and some sections of the OBCs (lower castes among them) who have either poor land-base or very low land productivity. 
      4. The people affected by natural disasters, who have to migrate to other areas in search of work, are also among the most food insecure people. 
      5. A large proportion of pregnant and nursing mothers and children under the age of 5 years. 


      Q53. Write notes on:
      (a) Minimum support price
      (b) Buffer stock
      (c) Issue price
      (d) Fair price shops

      Ans. (a) Minimum support price - The FCI purchases wheat and rice from the farmers in states where there is surplus production. The farmers are paid a pre-announced price for their crops. This price is called Minimum Support Price.

      (b) Buffer stock - Buffer Stock is the stock of food grains, namely wheat and rice procured by the government through Food Corporation of India (FCI). This is done to distribute food grains in the deficit areas and among the poorer strata of society at a price lower than the market price also known as Issue Price. This also helps resolve the problem of shortage of food during adverse weather conditions or during the periods of calamity.

      (c) Issue price – Government distributes food grains from buffer stock in the deficit areas and among the poorer strata of society at a price lower than the market price. This subsidized price is known as Issue Price.

      (d) Fair price shops - The food procured by the FCI is distributed through government regulated ration shops among the poorer section of the society. Ration shops also known as Fair Price Shops keep stock of food grains, sugar, kerosene oil for cooking. These items are sold to people at a price lower than the market price.


      Q54. What has our government done to provide food security to the poor? Discuss any two schemes launched by the government?

      Ans. To ensure availability of food to all sections of the society the Indian government carefully designed food security system, which is composed of two components: (a) buffer stock and (b) public distribution system. In addition to PDS, various poverty alleviation programmes were also started which comprised a component of food security. Some of these programmes are: Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS); Food-for-Work (FFW); Mid-Day Meals; Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) etc. 

      Two schemes launched by the government to provide food security to the poor are:

      Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) – 

      1. AAY was launched in December 2000. 
      2. Under the scheme one crore of the poorest among the BPL families covered under the targeted public distribution system were identified. 
      3. Twenty five kilograms of food grains were made available to each eligible family at a highly subsidized+ rate of Rs 2 per kg for wheat and Rs 3 per kg for rice.
      4. This quantity has been enhanced from 25 to 35 kgs with effect from April 2002. 
      5. The scheme has been further expanded twice by additional 50 lakh BPL families in June 2003 and in August 2004. With this increase, 2 crore families have been covered under the AAY.

      National Food for Work Programme

      1. National Food for Work Programme was launched on November 14, 2004 in 150 most backward districts of the country with the objective of intensifying the generation of supplementary wage employment. 
      2. The programme is open to all rural poor who are in need of wage employment and desire to do manual unskilled work. 
      3. It is implemented as a 100 per cent centrally sponsored scheme and the food grains are provided to States free of cost. 
      4. The Collector is the nodal officer at the district level and has the overall responsibility of planning, implementation, coordination, monitoring and supervision.


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