Daily News Analysis

Food Security

4th October, 2021 Society

Figure 1: No Copyright Infringement Intended

Context:

  • The first and historic United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) 2021 which was held in September this year has concluded.

 

Need of Strong Food Security System:

  • In terms of larger goals, the food system transformation is considered essential in achieving the sustainable development agenda 2030. This makes strong sense as 11 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) out of 17 are directly related to the food system. 

 

objective of Strong Food Security System:

  • Ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all; 
  • Shift to sustainable consumption patterns; 
  • Boost nature-positive production; 
  • Advance equitable livelihoods, 
  • Build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks, and stress.

 

Challenges to Food Security System:

  • Climate change and unsustainable use of land and water resources are the most formidable challenges food systems face today. 
  • Dietary diversity, nutrition, and related health outcomes are another area of concern as a focus on rice and wheat has created nutritional challenges of its own.
  • India has a 50% higher prevalence of undernutrition compared to the world average. 
  • Food wastage in India exceeds Rs. 1-lakh crore.

 

Indian Response:

  • Indian Policy has led to diversification of agriculture beyond field crops and brought greater focus on the horticulture, dairy, animal husbandry, and fishery sectors. 
  • Indian Food Security system has elements of nutritional health, food safety and standards, sustainability, deployment of space technology.
  • The supply of fortified rice in PDS and Poshan Abhiyan are the two steps among many to address the challenge of undernutrition and malnutrition.
  • India has created a National Food Security Act 2013 that anchors the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), the Mid-Day meals (MDM), and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). Today, India’s food safety nets collectively reach over a billion people.
  • In 2020, India produced over 30 crore tonnes of cereals and had built up a food stock of 10 crore tonnes. 
  • the introduction of the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) will allow beneficiaries to access their food entitlements from anywhere in the country.