Feeding India's Billion plus Population , the Roadmap Ahead.
Food is a basic need for every human being to be alive. So” Right to nutritious food” is the right of every human being. If anyone does not able to afford food at any time ,that is called food insecurity. It is the duty of the state to ensure that, no citizen of the state is dying out of hunger. India being a ‘welfare state’ ,it is the duty of the Indian govt. to ensure food security in the country.
According to Food and Agriculture organisation(FAO), food security means when all the people , at all the times have physical and economic access to meet their dietary needs for active and healthy life.
It has 3 components
- Availability-Food must be available at every corner of country.
- Accessability-Every citizen should be capable to access food.
- Nutrition-Food must be nutritious.
Food is available only when agriculture of the country is good. India occupies 2.4% of land area of world, but supports 16.7% of world population. In that, agriculture land in India was reported around 60% in 2015 and more of than 50% of the Indian population is dependent on agriculture. So agriculture is the backbone of the country. From post independence govt. is focusing on agriculture in order to ensure self sufficiency and food security.
During second world war , the “Great Bengal famine” of 1943 taught our leaders the importance of agriculture. So from post independence govt. in its five year plans concentrating on agricultural reforms. Some are as follow:
To increase agriculture production:
- Green revolution- It is the most important agricultural reform. It used modern methods in agriculture such as using HYV seeds, chemical fertilizers to increase its production. It made India self sufficient.
- Rastriya krishi vikas yojana-It was launched under 11th five year plan in 2007-11. This programme gives autonomy to states to develop plans to increase investment in agriculture by providing informations on climatic conditions, technology and cropping patterns in districts so as to increase production.
- PM Fasal bhima yojana-This scheme provides financial support to farmers suffering crop loss arising out of unforeseen events.
To make food available to people:
To tackle food insecurity the Indian govt. enacted ” National food security act “in 2013 . It includes:
- Public distribution system-Indian food security system was established by government of India in 1975 under the ‘ministry of consumer affairs , food and public distribution ‘ to distribute food and non food items to India’s poor at subsidised rate.
- Integrated child development shcheme-In 1975 , ‘ministry of women and child development’ brought this scheme. It provides food, pre-school, education, primary health care, immunization, health checkup and referral services to children under 6 years of age and their mothers.
- Mid day meal scheme-This scheme is brought in 1995 to provide nutritious food to school children who are studying in government and aided schools.
But apart from such effort by government, India is still lacking behind to achieve food security. According to FAO recent estimates in “The state of food security and nutrition in the world 2019” 194.4 million people are under nourished in India. Means 14.5% of population is undernourished in India. India’s rank in “Global hunger index” of 2018 is 103 out of 119 countries. India is suffering from serious level of hunger. Feeding India’s billion plus population is the biggest task for the country.
Sustainable development goal 2 aims to achieve “zero hunger” by 2030. India should prepare itself for second green revolution to achieve this goal. Indian government must take necessary actions to free India from hunger. It is the duty of the government to encourage more people to invest in agriculture. Not only the government, it is also the responsibility of every Indian citizen to support farmers to produce enough and to support poor to earn his bread.
- Niharika Tahasheeldar