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Essay on Food Security in India

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Food security is access to sufficient food for a healthy and active daily life to all the people at all time. Even though, India is developing with high growth rate, but still India has the problem of food management and its distribution. India has the 17.1% of agriculture’s share in India’s GDP and has fallen below 20% since the mid-2000s. However, for a country with a population of 1.3 billion, food self-sufficiency and employment are still a hot topic, which makes agriculture an important industry.

Looking at rice and wheat, which are the main agricultural products, having the production 106.5 million tons’ rice annually and with 95.9 million tons of wheat, but still having the exports of 10.9 million tons of rice and 5.57 million tons of wheat, one of the biggest grains exporting country in the world (2013, Ministry of Commerce and Industry). However, Indian agriculture uses a lot of agricultural water, which is due to the reliance on monsoon-induced rainfall, the country is susceptible to climate change also. Resulting, the supply and demand trends within the country fluctuate greatly.

Under these circumstances, the National Food Security Act, October 2014 (NFSA) has been enforced. NFSA positions access to food as a national legal right. Central government to distribute food to the poor, which has been entrusted to the operation of each state under the PDS. Therefore, the purpose is to improve and strengthen.

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Food Security and Governance in India

The Indian government has established the following mechanisms over the last decade in order to work for food security in the country.

  1. Food Corporation of India (FCI), set up as a special agency responsible to execute food policies and guidelines on 14th January 1965. FCI obtain the food from farmer on MSP-maximum support price, and sell it to deficit areas at lower price.
  2. Public Distribution System (PDS). This is an arrangement of distribution and make the food accessible to the poorer class people, FCI is the responsible authority.
  3. Village Grain Banks Scheme (VGBS). This scheme was implemented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in 11 states and after 2004 governed by the Department of Food and Public Distribution. Major goal of this scheme is to provide protection against the food shortage and starvation during the natural disasters or lack of rainfall to grow the sufficient crops.
  4. Mid-Day Meal Scheme for Children. It was affected by 15th August 1995 and launched by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to improve the nutritional status of the students in primary schools, and currently feeding to 100 million children.

Some Glaring Facts About Wastage of Food in India

  • India, the world’s second largest fruit and vegetable producer encounter a waste of close to 18% worth INR 44,000 crore ($7 billion) of produce.
  • The latest DIPP paper on foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail estimated that against a production of 180 million metric tons a year of fruits, vegetables and perishables, India has a capacity of storing only 23.6 million metric tons in 5,386 cold storages across the country.
  • Food Corporation of India (FCI) reports shows that food grain worth INR 120.29 crore ($19.2 million) was lost in storage, while INR 106.18 crore ($17 million) worth of grain was lost in transit.

Major Issues Faced in India

  1. Inadequate and improper storage facilities for grains, which are often stored outside under tarps that provide little protection from humidity and pests.
  2. Insufficient cold storage and cold chain transportation system is a major cause for fruits, vegetables and other perishable products to rot.
  3. Multiple layers of middlemen between the farmer and the end consumer, driving up prices and reducing bargaining power and price transparency for the farmers. These intermediaries have led to a price inflation of ~250% (over the value of production).
  4. Lack of a well-developed agricultural banking sector, which forces formers to take loans with high interest from commission agents.
  5. The productivity of land has started showing a declining trend. Fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides, which once showed dramatic results, are now being held liable for reducing fertility of the soil.

Sustainable Nutritional Security

Both these difficulties, of addressing to wholesome security and reducing the reliance on unreliable world market focused exertion on two fronts. One is challenge for domestic agriculture and price policy, and other is to allow room to support for food-based involvement as addressed in NFSA.

The most straight forward path is to fortify the different food related plans focused on and children under the age of 6 years through child‐care plans, school meals programs and those focuses on young girls and women. There is lot of that is going on in India right now in the forward direction for this issue. This is the region that calls for innovative thinking and centered efforts.


The basic of food security in India is currently widely recognized, however profound differences continue on the best route forward. The year 2014 saw the passing of the NFSA intended to be a comprehensive set of innovative support food security over the life cycle of a person. Despite the fact that depreciators see this to be a costly and to a great extent inefficient exercise that relies on a defective system for acquisition and circulation through reasonable value shops under the PDS, supporters recommend this is the most ideal approach to guarantee nourishment access in numerous settings in rural India. The prompt difficulties for India lie in returning to operational parts of nourishment acquisition and conveyance for a progressively cost‐effective and deft framework.


  1. Sultan Singh Jaswal, IOSR-JHSS, Vol 19, Apr. 2014.
  2. (Press Information bureau, Government of India, Ministry of Finance).
  3. Food Corporation of India (FCI) reports.
  4. Food and Agricultural Organization(FAO) reports.
  5. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Foreign direct department of India.
  6. Dr. Soma Bhowmick, ‘Food Security in India: Issues, Challenges and Prospects. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Volume-IV, Page No. 308-330.
  7. Narayanan, S. (2015), ‘Food Security in India’. Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, 2: 197-209. doi:10.1002/app5.62.

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