NCERT Class 9 Economics Chapter 4: Food Security in India Economy Complete Notes Part 1

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Food Security in India

Food Security = Buffer Stock + PDS

  • Availability of food: Domestic Production, Imports & previous stock

  • Accessibility: Within reach of every person.

  • Affordability: Ample money to buy sufficient, safe and nutritious food for one’s needs

Now if in scientific terms we try to explain food security I can say it’s the sum of Buffer stock and the public distribution system however we cannot understand this until and unless we are familiar with these terms. So let’s first try to understand what is food security in very simple terms and then we will move forward on to kind of specific terminologies.

Now in simple terms I can say a person has a food security if there is sufficient availability of the food grains so this can be in form of the domestic production, that is within the nation so let’s say you have India here so whatever production is there within the nation whatever imports that you are bringing from outside, all the stock that has been there like let’s say I have the production for 2017 but I have a kind of stock that remains from 2016.

So that stock + current production + the imports is the total availability of the food grain now it’s not only the question about availability. Let’s say all of my good grains on fruits food grain silos are located in East India, However the west India does not have any storage for food grains for example. So what is happening here is despite the availability of food in the nation there is poor accessibility.

So this food should be able to reach each and every corner to of the country so the next important key aspect here is accessibility and finally is affordability that means at a correct price at which this food grain stock is available and individual so you have availability, accessibility and affordability as the key concepts for food security.

Why Food Security?

  • For BPL families

  • Natural Disaster – Earthquake, Drought, Flood, Tsunami

  • Shortage of Food Price Affordability Starvation

  • Famine: Deaths by starvation & epidemics by contaminated water

  • 1942 – Devastating famine of West Bengal

  • Famine affected areas: Kalahandi and Kashipur in Orissa, Baran district of Rajasthan, Palamau district of Jharkhand

Now why do we exactly require food security if a person is well off, he can a food then definitely food security should not be an issue however in a nation like India where you have numerous people are below poverty line so food security becomes an important concern. It’s mainly for those people the BPL families are the instances of natural disasters all kind of calamities that occur so you have earthquakes, Drought, Flood or Tsunami.

In all these cases you require stock of foodgrains in ready availability that should be there. Now what would exactly happen if there is a shortage of food, the price would increase since the price would increase, less people will be able to afford the food stock and as a result the problem of the starvation and hunger would increase because there are very few people who can afford to buy food grains at such a high prices as a result there would be kind of severe starvation hunger that could occur we will understand hunger in a separate section as we move forward.

Now there are instances of severe starvation that occurred during the various famines in India also by the time there were many epidemics and all these led to people with starvation and one of the most commonly known famine in India was 1942 Famine in Bengal, other affected are Kalahandi and Kashipur in Orissa then you have Baran district of Rajasthan, Palamau district of Jharkhand as commonly affected areas.

How Are Food Insecure?

  • Landless people with little or no land to depend upon

  • Traditional artisans

  • Providers of traditional services

  • Petty self-employed workers

  • Destitute including beggars

  • Ill-paid occupation

  • Casual Labour

  • Social Composition – SC, ST, sections of OBCs

  • Natural Disasters

  • Pregnant & nursing mothers

  • Children under age of 5 years

Now who are the people, who are food insecure firstly the landless people and the casual labors in the urban areas so let’s say we can classify this into urban and rural.

Rural: you would have landless laborers, landless farmers and they have been occupied in traditional handmade art and craft traditional artisans.

Urban: Then in the urban area you would mainly have the causal labors so who get employment only during the time of construction, all kind of marginal employment that they get, then again social composition is one of the major phenomena that affect food insecurity natural disasters. As we said then nursing and pregnant mothers and finally children under the age of five are mostly prone to food insecurities so these are the some of the major sections which we can say are food insecure.