Meaning of Food Security
Food security is when people are able to afford and secure sufficient quantities of nutritious food for their families.
In 1983, the Food and Agricultural Organization defined food security as ‘ensuring that all people at all times have both physical and economic access to the basic food they need. The three dimensions of food security:
Availability of food: The country should produce sufficient food for satisfying the needs and requirements of every
Accessibility of food: All people should have easy accessibility to food.
Affordability of food: Every person should have enough money to buy sufficient and quality food for the family.
Food Security Measures
Various steps were taken by the government to solve the food problem:
Increasing Food Supplies
- Technological improvements such as enhancing irrigation facilities, using of high-yielding variety of seeds and supply of chemical fertilizers at subsidized prices.
- Institutional measures such as land reforms, providing cheap credit to farmers through institutional credit agencies and ensuring a fair price of their products.
Three main objectives of food management in India
- Procurement of food grains from farmers at remunerative prices
- Distribution of food grains to the vulnerable section of society at affordable prices
- Maintenance of food buffers for food security and price stability
Components of the Food Security System
Buffer stock: Buffer stock is a sufficient stock of food grains. Wheat and rice are the main food grains procured by the government as they are consumed by a large number of citizens.
Minimum support price (MSP) is the pre-announced price declared by the government at which it is willing to purchase crops directly from the farmers if the crop price falls below the MSP. Every year, farmers are paid by the government before the sowing season. This is done to provide incentives to the farmers for raising the production of these crops.
Public Distribution System: Food purchased by the government is distributed among the poor sections of society in a controlled way through ration shops. This system is known as the Public Distribution System. The ration or fair price shops sell food grains and other essential commodities to the poor people at prices lower than the market rates. Regulated shops which distribute the food grains procured by the government at a lower price than the market price are known as fair price shops or ration shops. These food grains are distributed only among the poorer sections of society.
Food subsidy: A subsidy is a payment which the government makes to a producer to supplement the market price of a commodity.