India continues to perform poor in global hunger index despite adequate food stocks and statutory laws to ensure food security. Analyze and provide solutions to deal with this problem.

Recently India has ranked on 107th position in Global Hunger Index despite overflowing FCI godowns and food wastage.

Magnitude of Problem of hunger in India:

  • Burden of malnutrition.
  • High rate of stunting among children.
  • Approximately 50% women are anaemic.

Safeguards available:

  • Green revolution & procurement by FCI from farmers.
  • PM-Aasha for enhanced procurement of pulses, oilseeds, etc.
  • PM-Sampada – cold storages.
  • More than enough stocks of FCI.
  • PDS Scheme – ration at subsidized rate to around 66% population.
  • Poshan Abhiyan for children & adolescents.
  • Mid-day meal schemes in schools.

Reasons behind this dichotomy:

  • Ineffective management of PDS & FCI stocks.
  • Wastage of food due to lack of transport & cold storage infra. Less than 1% horticultural produce is transported via railways, less than 10% cold store capability.
  • Inequalities in society, obesity & hunger coexist.
  • Gender biases – prevalence of malnutrition in women.
  • Exclusion & Inclusion errors – lack of Aadhar integration.

Way forward:

  • One nation one ration card to include migrants & other excluded categories.
  • PPP mode for investments in cold storage infra.
  • Change skewed transportation.
  • Encourage contract farming & market procurement.
  • Social change – gender justice, generating awareness.
  • Digitization of database.

Ashok Dalwai committee recommendations can help attain goals of SDG-1, 2.

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