[Editorial] India @ 75 – Status of Food Security in India

Context: The overall food grain scenario in India has undergone a drastic transformation in the last 75 years.

Quick revision mind map

Political independence, economic independence, and self-sufficiency in food grains

  • Political independence does not have much meaning without economic independence.
  • One of the important indicators of economic independence is self-sufficiency in food grain production.

Food grain scenario in India in the last 75 years

  • The overall food grain scenario in India has undergone a drastic transformation in the last 75 years.
  • India was a food-deficit country on the eve of Independence. It had to import food grains to feed its people.
  • The situation became more acute during the 1960s. The imported food had to be sent to households within the shortest possible time. The situation was referred to as ‘ship to mouth’.
  • Presently, Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns are overflowing with food grain stocks and the Union government is unable to ensure remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce.
  • This transformation, however, was not smooth. Various policy measures had been implemented to streamline this growth. It includes the green revolution, public distribution system (PDS) policy, targeted PDS, Annapoorna Scheme, the National Food Security Act (NFSA), and more recently, the Government of India has introduced a scheme called ‘One Nation One Ration Card’.

However, the government must adopt environment-friendly measures to sustain this achievement.

Way forward

The need for proper planning:

  • Sri Lanka recently shifted to organic manure from chemical fertiliser without required planning. Consequently, it had to face an acute food shortage due to a shortage of organic manure.

Reduce excessive dependence on chemical fertilizer:

  • Some analysts have cautioned against excessive dependence on chemical fertiliser.
  • Phosphorus is an important input in the production of chemical fertiliser and about 70-80 per cent of known resources of phosphorus are available only in Morocco.
  • There is the possibility that Morocco may manipulate the price of phosphorus.

Provide subsidies and unemployment relief only to the right beneficiaries:

  • Providing excessive subsidies and unemployment relief may make people dependent, as in the case of Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

The need to increase livestock:

  • The government has to increase livestock as in the case of Uruguay to make the food basket broad-based and nutritious.

Ensure adequate organic content in the soil:

  • GOI has to see to it that the organic content in the soil is adequate, in order to make cultivation environmentally friendly and sustainable in the long run.

Practice Question for Mains

  1. India has transformed from a food-deficit state to a food-surplus one 75 years after independence. However, the government must adopt environmental-friendly measures to sustain this achievement. Examine. (250 Words,15Marks).
Referred Sources



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