Food Security In India PDF

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Food Security Issues And Suggestions For Effectiveness


National Food Security is critically dependent on the adequate availability of sufficient food stocks to fully satisfy domestic demand at all times.

This requirement can be ensured either through domestic food production or through imports.

We must therefore first have a close look at the performance in terms of food availability and also the policies pursued in order to ensure that sufficient food is available to meet domestic demand.

The Status and Trends in Food Production and Availability

National self-sufficiency in food grain has been a major achievement in post-Independence India.

Having remained a severe food deficit economy over two decades after Independence, India managed to achieve self-sufficiency in food grain production at the macro or national level.

The green revolution ushered in a dramatic and steady increase in domestic food grain production practically eliminating the need for food imports,

except to a very limited extent in times of extreme emergencies such as droughts and serious crop failure.

Foodgrain production in the country registered a steady increase over two decades from only 50 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 244.5 million tonnes in 2010-11.

The growth rate in food grain has been about 2.5 percent per annum during the post-Independence period.

Moreover, the production of oilseeds, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables, and milk has also increased significantly

A closer look at the experience in the last two decades however indicates a tapering off or decline in both production and yields.

It has been observed (S. Mahendra Dev, and A. Sharma 2011) that during the period 1996-2008 as compared to the years 1986-97,

the growth rate in food grain production declined very sharply from nearly 3 percent to around 0.93 percent.

Moreover, the growth in production was much less than the growth in population in the latter period, having a serious impact on per capita availability.

The growth rate of yields in food grain also declined from 3.21 percent to 1.04 percent. There was thus a decline in rates of production and yields for cereals, pulses, oilseeds, rice, and wheat as seen in Table IB below.

These being fitted trend rates based on CACP, 2009.

Major Factors Responsible for Decline in Food Production

The performance in the agriculture sector is extremely vital for ensuring adequate availability and access to food; this is more so because more than one percent of the country’s population depends on this primary sector.

The more recent status of the agriculture sector and the factors primarily responsible for the disturbing slowdown in this sector provide a clear explanation for the notable decline in the growth of food production.

AuthorIndian Institute of Public Administration
PDF Size 0.57 MB


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