The road to zero hunger by 2030
Context: This World Food Day, the food agencies of the United Nations (UN) pledged to work together to end hunger, eradicate food insecurity and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2.
- GS Paper 1: Issues relating to Poverty and Hunger
- There is a growing divergence in the relationship between poverty and hunger in India. The shrinking of social expenditure by the government is forcing the poor to spend more on Non- Food essential items squeezing their food – budget.- Elucidate. 15 marks
1: What is food security?
Food security means availability, accessibility and affordability of food to all people at all times.
- Availability of food means food production within the country, food imports and the previous years stock stored in government granaries.
- Accessibility means food is within reach of every person.
- Affordability implies that an individual has enough money to buy sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet one’s dietary needs.
2: Status of food security in India?
- The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey 2016-18 revealed that over 40 million children are chronically malnourished, and more than half of Indian women aged 15-49 years are anaemic.
- Recently released NFHS-4 report also shows similar facts i.e. 53% women (15-49 years of age) and 58.4% of children (6-59 months) are anaemic and 35.7% of children (under 5) are underweight.
3: What are the causes of food insecurity in India?
- Poverty is the main cause of food insecurity in India because poor people unable to afford costly food grains at market prize.
- Fragmented food chain in India causes food wastage.
- In India, agriculture is over dependence on monsoon which unpredictable in nature which again lead to food insecurity.
- Public Distribution System is suffered due to corruption which leads to food insecurity in India.
- In India, cropping pattern has been changed due to high MSP of cereals crops therefor it reduced the availability of coarse grains. Which affected nutrition security in India.
- Climate change will affect the precipitation and temperature which again has negative consequences on food security.
- Intensified food production systems with excessive use of chemicals and unsustainable farming practices cause soil degradation, fast depletion of groundwater table and rapid loss of agro-biodiversity.
- In India, more than 86% farmers have less than two hectares of land contributing around 60% of the total food grain production and over half the country’s fruits and vegetables. Which again pose threat to food security in India.
4: Measure to address the issues related to food security in India:-
- The government should enhance the capability of Public Distribution System. For example, Central and State governments were able to distribute around 23 million tonnes from India’s large domestic food grain reserves in three months.
- The government should focus on the development of drought and flood tolerant seed varieties, weather-based agricultural advisories, promotion of millets, and small-scale irrigation.
- The food production pattern should be changed through agroecology and sustainable production practices in agriculture and allied sectors.
- Food system which includes every aspect of feeding and nourishing people: from growing, harvesting and processing to packaging, transporting, marketing and consuming food.
Way forward: Everybody — governments, the private sector, civil society and local communities — has a role to play in transforming our food systems so they can withstand increasing volatility and climate shocks, deliver affordable and sustainable healthy diets for all, and provide decent livelihoods for food chain workers. We must all work in concert to make sure that our food systems nourish a growing population and sustain the planet, together.
Programmes/schemes by Govt of India to remove hunger
- Public Distribution System (PDS)
- Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)
- Mid-Day Meals Program (MDM