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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Food Security in India” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Food Security in India

The right to food is the right of every person. Eve] individual must have regular access to sufficient, nutritional adequate and culturally acceptable food for an active and beak’ life. At present, this is a major developmental challenge India. We cannot feel proud of our achievements in differed areas until this basic need of each individual is met.

About 21 per cent of the population was undernourished in 1997. In 1999, over 53 per cent of the children under four were found to be malnourished. Today more than 85 per cent of pregnant women are anaemic. Young children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition. This is the height of the fact that about 26.1 per cent of the Indian population lives Below the Poverty Line (BPL), according to the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO).

Although malnutrition in India has fallen remarkably from 11.1 per cent to 6.4 per cent, this is due to increased consumption of milk, animal protein, fruits and vegetables. An estimate of the NSSO shows that per capita consumption of foodgrains has declined from 192 to 152 kg in rural areas and from 147 to 125 kg in the urban areas. According to recommendations of the National Institute of Nutrition, to achieve a minimum energy requirement of 2738 K calories/day/head, a balanced diet containing of at least 460 grams of cereals apart from pulses, vegetables, fruits and milk should be combined. Accordingly, the per capita requirement of cereals will be around 165.6 kg per head per annum. But the overage animal cereal consumption is horsing around 138.75 kg per head, moderately lower than the recommendations.

This is the scenario of the nutritional standards of the country’s population which is a serious cause for concern for all of us. This concern is compounded when we hear about the starvation deaths in some parts of the country. According to the UNICEF’s latest report released in Jan. 2008, India loses 5,753 children below five every year. That contributes to 21 per cent of the world. The report states that in India, progress in improving nutrition rate among children has been slow. Although, the Union Government is making concerted efforts to boost the growth rate in agriculture so that the production of foodgrains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, poultry, fisheries and other agri-products is increased to meet the demands of the surging population and to maintain a sufficient buffer food stock, more efforts are needed to sustain the growth so that we can withstand the vagaries of inclement weather on which Indian agriculture is heavily dependent. Until farming s/ made viable it will be virtually impossible to reduce rural poverty and distress. Agricultural production has stagnated luring the period from 1998-99 to 2006-07. Total foodgrain production in 2006-07 was marginally higher at 209.2 million onnes compared to 208.6 million tonnes in 2005-06. The average annual growth in agriculture.in the 10th Five-Year Plan (2006-07) was a mere 2.3 per cent against the target of four per cent. As more than 60 per cent of the country’s population is directly dependent on agriculture for its livelihood and survival, the occupation of agriculture has to be made productive and profitable.

The 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12) seeks agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate to increase by four per cent per year to ensure a broader spread of benefits. One of the major challenges of the 11th Five-Year Plan will be to reverse the deceleration in the agricultural growth.

In a new deal to the agricultural sector, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced at the 53rd meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) and corroborated the resolve from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Aug. 15, 2007, that there was a Rs. 25,000 crore plan to boost the farm sector growth by addressing the needs at the grassroots level during the next four years.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval for the Centrally sponsored National Food Security Mission (NFSM) worth Rs. 48.82 billion. The NFSM aims at increasing production of rice, wheat and pulses through a set of measures such as area expansion, productivity enhancement in selected districts; restoring soil fertility, creating employment opportunities; and enhancing farm level economy to restore the confidence of the farmers of the targeted districts. The NFSM will have three components:

(i) National Food Security Mission on Rice: Under this Mission, 133 districts and 12 States will be covered. The States are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

(ii) National Food Security Mission on Wheat: Under this Mission, 138 districts of nine States will be covered. The States include Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

(iii) National Food Security Mission on Pulses: As per the Mission, about 168 districts of 14 States will be benefitted. The States include AP, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The implementation of the Mission would result in increasing the production of rice by 10 ] tonnes, wheat by eight million tonnes and pulses by two million tonnes by 2011-12.

The problem assumes greater significance as the Public Distribution System (PDS) around the country is the doldrums and the poor people are unable to get essential food items at a comparatively fair price. Since April 1, 2007, supply of essential commodities to the States has been almost stopped.

For example, in West Bengal, rice and wheat that is now being sent may be able to cater to the needs of about four per cent of the total population. Not only is there a severe shortage of supply, the most disturbing fact is the unbridled corruption  among a section of the ration dealers obviously in collusion with a section of the low keepers. People become infuriated when pleas on their part fall on deaf ears but no concrete action has been taken to address this problem.

The system is supposed to provide a safety net to the poor against the spiralling rise in prices of essential commodities. It is meant to fulfill the triple objectives of protecting the poor, enhancing their nutritional states and keeping a check on market prices. It is an essential part of the Government’s food security policy as the Government acknowledges that the production and availability of food per se is not enough to ensure the ability to acquire the food, nor does it entitle a person to consume it. Even the ability to buy may not guarantee food security unless there is an efficient distribution system.

Despite the PDS being in place for over a half a country, India alone accounts for over 400 million poor and hungry people.

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