CIRCULAR - 13th Phase -MDM Food Security Allowance


  CIRCULAR -  MDM Food Security Allowance Date 02-02-2021 to 31-03-2021 :This article examines India’s efforts to achieve food security. It traces the problem, from the inadequate production of food grains during colonial times, to the challenges of procurement, storage and distribution of cereals in post-independence India, after achieving self-sufficiency in food production. The establishment of the Public Distribution System (PDS) and its evolution into the Targeted PDS and the National Food Security Act are outlined. The role of the Food Corporation of India and the efforts to improve it, are discussed. A critical analysis of India’s food security system is made in light of present day problems.

CIRCULAR -  MDM Food Security Allowance 

Food security, as defined by the World Food Summit (WFS) and the Food and Agricultural Organization, ‘exists when all people at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary and food preferences for an active life1’. Food security is also linked with a host of other factors, such as, socio-economic development, human rights and the environment. It has political ramifications as well. For instance, the price rise of various foods, such as onions and sugar, was a major issue during the general elections of 2014 in the capital. Therefore, a rise in food prices is bound to have consequences which cannot just be restricted to hunger and malnutrition, but it can also result in increasing health care expenditure and a greater economic burden on the citizens. Poor health and nutrition would also have an adverse impact on education, as children would be forced to stay away from schools. In fragile political and security situations, rising food prices can also trigger unrest and protest, and contribute to conflict.

As regards the MDG 1c, the developing regions, as a whole, have almost reached the target. On the other hand, the Rome Declaration goal of 1996 has been missed by a large margin.5 The under-nourished population of the world, in 1990–1992, was about one billion. This had to be brought down to 515 million. However, as a substantial number of these persons were freed from hunger, the world population also grew, and the number of hungry people stood at 750 million in 2015.

With nearly 195 million undernourished people, India shares a quarter of the global hunger burden. Nearly 47 million or 4 out of 10 children in India are not meeting their full human potential because of chronic undernutrition or stunting. Stunting has consequences such as diminished learning capacity, poor school performance, reduced earnings and increased risks of chronic diseases. The impacts are multi-generational as malnourished girls and women often give birth to low birth-weight infants. There has also been an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents in India, which has life-long consequences of non-communicable diseases in adulthood.

MDM 11mo TABAKKO Allowance
The government has large food security and anti-poverty programmes but there are critical gaps in terms of inclusion and exclusion errors. Women and girls are particularly disadvantaged. Despite the achievement of national food self-sufficiency, new challenges have emerged: Slowing agriculture growth, climate change, land degradation and shrinking bio-diversity. Large tracts of farmlands in India have become barren due to imbalanced fertiliser use and excessive use of a single fertiliser, urea

To address the linked nutrition and livelihood challenges in India and to ensure that vulnerable groups are not left behind, the UN priority group partners with the government to scale-up nutrition services and improve feeding and caring practices in the home. It assists government efforts to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the safety nets under the NFSA, and work towards increasing farm incomes for small and marginal farming households. The group provides support the strengthening of agriculture and livelihood dimensions of anti-poverty programmes, particularly the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the National Rural Livelihoods Mission.

In previous years, the group has collaborated with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to hold a national consultation on wheat flour fortification, and with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to organise a workshop on advocating for a national food fortification policy.

Led by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the priority groups members include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and World Food Programme (WFP).

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