Food Security in India - Solutions

 CBSE Class 09 Social Science

NCERT Solutions
Chapter 04 Economics
Food Security in India

Question 1. How is food security ensured in India?
Answer : 
Food security of a nation is ensured if all of its citizens have enough nutritious food available, all persons have the capacity to buy food of acceptable quality and there is no barrier on access to food.
Food security is ensured in a country when the three dimensions of food security are taken care of. The three dimensions are:
Availabilityof food -
 Presence of enough food for all the persons
Accessibilityof food - Absence of barrier on access to food
Affordabilityof food - Capability of all persons to buy food of acceptable quality

It is also ensured in India by Creation of buffer stock.
Introduction of the Public Distribution System (PDS).
Running other special programmes like
(i) Food for work programme
(ii) Mid-day meal in schools
(iii) Integrated child development services

Question 2. Which are the people more prone to food insecurity?
Answer :
 Although a large section of people suffer from food and nutrition insecurity in India, the affected groups are landless or land-poor households in rural areas and people employed in ill paid occupations and casual labourers engaged in seasonal activities in the urban areas.However, the worst affected groups areas follows:
→ Landless and land-poor households, traditional artisans, providers of traditional services, petty self-employed workers and destitute including beggars (in the rural areas).
→ People employed in ill-paid occupations and casual labourers engaged in seasonal activities (in the urban areas).
→ People belonging to the backward sections of society, namely SCs, STs and OBCs
→ People belonging to economically-backward states with high incidence of poverty, tribal and remote areas and regions more prone to natural disasters.
→ People affected by natural disasters who have to migrate to other areas in search of work.
→ Large proportion of pregnant and nursing mothers, and children under the age of 5 years.

Question 3.Which states are more food insecure in India?
Answer :
 The economically-backward states with high incidence of poverty are more food insecure in India. The states of Uttar Pradesh (eastern and south-eastern parts), Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, parts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra account for the largest number of food insecure people in the country.

Question 4. Do you believe that green revolution has made India self-sufficient in food grains? How?
Answer :
 There was a tremendous increase in production of food due to package technology i.e. continuous irrigation, HYV seeds, chemical fertilisers and pesticides. In the late 1960's, the Green Revolution introduced the Indian farmer to the cultivation of high-yielding varieties (HYVs) of seeds. The HYVs (coupled with chemical fertilisers and pesticides) led to a growth in the productivity of food grains (especially wheat and rice), thereby helping India attain self-sufficiency in food grains. Since the advent of the Green Revolution, the country has avoided famine even during adverse weather conditions. After independence, India adopted a new strategy in agriculture, which resulted in the ‘Green Revolution’ especially in the production of wheat and rice. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, officially recorded the impressive strides of the Green revolution in agriculture by releasing a special stamp entitled ‘Wheat Revolution’ in July 1968. The success of wheat was later replicated in rice. The increase in food grains was, however, disproportionate. The highest rate of growth was achieved in Punjab and Haryana, where food grain production jumped from 7.23 million tonnes in 1964–65 to reach an all-time high of 30.33 million tonnes in 1995–96.

Question 5. A section of people in India are still without food. Explain?
Answer :
 Despite large increase in food grain production we find people without food in India. Poor people suffer from chronic hunger. They find themselves unable to buy food. Over one-fifth of the country’s population still suffers from chronic hunger. the people are insecure during a few months when they remain unemployed because of the seasonal nature of agricultural work. They are engaged in seasonal activities and are paid very low wages that just ensure bare survival. At times it so happens that they have to stay without food. Landless labourers, casual urban workers, SCs and STs, Petty self employed worker, traditional artisan, destitute and who are below the poverty line find it impossible to get two square meals a day. Low quality grains are available at ration shops which often remain unsold.
The PDS is not functioning properly because the ration shop owners are diverting the grains to the open market.
Corruption in the PDS and extreme poverty are the two basic reasons that even today some people are still without food in India.

Question 6. What happens to the supply of food when there is a disaster or a calamity?
Answer :
 When there is a disaster or a calamity, the production of food grains decreases in the affected area. This in turn creates a shortage of food in the area. Due to the food shortage, the prices go up. The raised prices of food materials affect the capacity of many people to buy the same. When the calamity occurs in a very wide spread area or is stretched over a long period of time, it may cause a situation of starvation. A massive starvation can take the form of famine.

Question 7.Differentiate between seasonal hunger and chronic hunger?
Answer : 
Seasonal hunger is related to cycles of food growing and harvesting. This is prevalent in rural areas because of the seasonal nature of agricultural activities, and in urban areas because of the casual labour (e.g., there is less work for casual construction labour during the rainy season). This type of hunger exists when a person is unable to get work for the entire year. The pattern of this hunger persist year after year.
Chronic hunger is a consequence of diets persistently inadequate in terms of quantity and/or quality. Poor people suffer from chronic hunger because of their very low income and in turn, inability to buy food even for survival. This hunger continues for long and leads to death.

Question 8. What has our government done to provide food security to the poor? Discuss any two schemes launched by the government?
Answer :
 The food security is ensured in India by the Government by carefully designed food security system. This system is composed of two components:
(a) Maintaining a Buffer Stock of food grains,
(b) Through the distribution of these food grains among the poorer sections of the society with the help of a Public Distribution System (PDS).
In addition to the above, the Government has launched several Poverty Alleviation Programmes (PAP) that comprise a component of food security. Some of these programmes are - Mid-Day Meals, Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), and Food-For-Work (FFW) etc.

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

→ Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY):This scheme was launched in December 2000. Under this scheme one crore of the poorer among the BPL families, covered by the Public Distribution System (PDS) were identified. Twenty-five kilograms of food grains were made available to each of the eligible family at a highly subsidized rate. After about two years, the quantity was enhanced from 25 kg to 35 kg. In June 2003, and August 2004, additional 50 lakh families were added to this scheme twice. In this way about 2 crore families have been brought under the AAY.
→ Food for Work (FFW):This programme was launched in November 2004 in 150 most backward districts of the country. The main objective of this scheme is to intensify the generation of supplementary wage employment. This scheme is open to all rural poor who are willing to do unskilled labour. In return of the work, the workers are supplied food grains or money as they like.
→ Annapurna Scheme (APS) : This is meant for indigent senior citizens who are not having any family to support them. Under this scheme, 10 kg of foodgrains per month are made available to them free of cost.

Question 9. Why buffer stock is created by the government?
Answer :
 Buffer stock is the stock of foodgrains, namely wheat and rice, procured by the government through Food Corporation of India (FCI). 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 is called the Minimum Support Price.
The purchased food grains are stored in the granaries and called buffer stock. 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 to resolve the shortage of food during adverse weather conditions or during a period of calamity.

Question 10. Write notes on:
(a) Minimum support price
(b) Buffer stock
(c) Issue price
(d) Fair price shops

Answer : (a) Minimum Support Price (MSP) - This is the pre-announced price at which the government purchases foodgrains particularly, wheat and rice from the farmer in order to crate a buffer stock. This price is announced by the government every year before the sowing season to give incentive to the farmers to raise the production of the desired crop. The rising MSPs have raised the maintenance cost of procuring food grains by the government as well as induced farmers to divert land from production of coarse grains to the production of these crops

(b) Buffer Stock - It is the stock of food grains particularly, wheat and rice which the government procures through the Food Corporation of India (FCI). The FCI purchases these cereals directly from the farmers of those states where they are in surplus. The price of these commodities is much before the actual sowing season of these crops. The food grains thus purchased by the FCI are kept in big granaries and are called Buffer Stock. Maintaining buffer stock is a step taken by the government in order to ensure food security in the country. This is done to distribute food grains in the deficit areas and among the poor strata of society when there is shortage of foodgrains because of crop failure due to natural calamities.

(c) Issue Price - In order to help the poor strata of the society, the government provides them food grains from the buffer stock at a price much lower than the market price. This subsidized price is known as the Issue Price. This is done to distribute food grains in the deficit areas and among the poor state of society at a price lower than the market price which is also known as issue price.

(d) Fair Price Shops - The food grains procured by the government through FCI is distributed to the poor section of the society through ration shops. The Ration Shops are called Fair Price Shops because food grains are supplied to the poor through these shops at much reasonable and a fair price than the market price which is often high. Any family with a ration card can purchase stipulated amount of food grains, sugar, kerosene etc. every month from the nearby fair price shop.

Question 11. What are the problems of the functioning of ration shops?
Answer :
 There are various problem of the functioning of ration shops such as ;

  • Ration cards are issued only to those people who have their proper residential addresses.Hence a large number of homeless poor fail to get ration from these shops.
  • Sometimes shopkeepers make bogus entries in the ration cards.
  • The PDS dealers are sometimes found resorting to malpractices like diverting the grains to open market for more profit.
  • Dealers sell poor quality grains at ration shops.
  • Ration shops are opened at irregular time creating problems for the people.
  • It is common to find that ration shops regularly have unsold stocks of poor quality grains.

Question 12. Write a note on the role of cooperatives in providing food and related items.
Answer :
 The cooperatives are playing an important role in food security in India, especially in thesouthern and western parts of the country. The cooperative societies set up shops to sell goodsto the poor people at lower prices. For example, out of all fair price shops operating in TamilNadu, nearly 94 percent are being run by the cooperatives. In Delhi, Mother Dairy is providingmilk and vegetables to the consumers at controlled prices which are decided by the DelhiGovernment. Amul is another example in this regard. It has brought about the WhiteRevolution in the country. There are many more cooperatives and NGOs also workingintensively towards this direction. These are a few example of many co-operatives running in different parts of the country ensuring food security of different sections of society.