FOOD SECURITY/ ECONOMY / GOVERNANCE
Topic: General Studies 3:
- Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
The road to zero hunger by 2030
Context: World Food Day being celebrated on October 16
Do You Know?
In the year 2020
- FAO is celebrating 75 years of fighting hunger in over 130 countries
- IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) become the first UN agency to receive a credit rating
- The World Food Programme (WFP) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace
What is a food system?
- It is a framework that includes every aspect of feeding and nourishing people: from growing, harvesting and processing to packaging, transporting, marketing and consuming food.
- To be sustainable, a food system must provide enough nutritious food for all without compromising feeding future generations.
How did India’s food system work during Pandemic?
- During the COVID-19-precipitated lockdown, the FAO, IFAD and the WFP worked in close coordination to support the Government of India’s Empowered Group 5 on facilitating supply chain and logistics management, so necessary items such as food and medicines were available.
- Over the past few decades, India has gone from being a net importer to a net exporter of food grains. This strength has been evident through the pandemic.
- During April to June 2020, Central and State governments were able to distribute around 23 million tonnes from India’s large domestic food grain reserves through Public Distribution System
- The government also successfully mobilised food rations for 820 million people from April to November 2020, including finding alternate solutions to provide food rations to 90 million schoolchildren.
- During Pandemic’s initial days of lockdown, there were efforts to remove bottlenecks in the food supply chain to ensure that agricultural activities weren’t disrupted.
- As a result, agriculture grew at 3.4% during the first quarter this financial year and the area cultivated this kharif exceeded 110 million hectares.
Challenges Ahead for India
- High number of Malnourished: The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey 2016-18 revealed that over 40 million children are chronically malnourished, and more than half of Indian women aged 15-49 years are anaemic.
- Climate change continues to be a real and potent threat to agrobiodiversity, which will impact everything from productivity to livelihoods across food and farm systems.
- Small Land Size: Intensified food production systems with excessive use of chemicals and unsustainable farming practices cause soil degradation, fast depletion of groundwater table and rapid loss of agro-biodiversity. These challenges multiply with an increase in fragmentation of landholdings.
- The way we produce food must change through agroecology and sustainable production practices in agriculture and allied sectors
- India must stop the waste — one-third of the food we produce is wasted.
- COVID-19 is an opportunity to adopt innovative solutions based on scientific evidence so they can build back better and make food systems more resilient and sustainable
- Everybody — governments, the private sector, civil society and local communities — has a role to play in transforming our food systems so they can withstand increasing volatility and climate shocks
Connecting the dots:
- Sustainable Developmental Goals
- India’s Commitment to Paris Climate Deal