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Food security

Updated: Apr 9, 2019

To provide food Security is to ensure that people at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Availability, access, utilisation and stability are the four major processes needed to be undertaken to ensure food security. Climate change has adversely affected the process by having an negative impact on all the steps. Climate change has lead to extreme weather conditions, that is drought in some places and floods in others, also due to changing temperature and weather the crop cycle is affected, which leads to a decrease in farm produce that is a decrease in availability. This has lead to an increase in the price of the available produce, also due to rising global temperatures it is no more viable to transport produce on a major scale which affects access. A decrease in availability and access has lead to a change in food habits which affects utilisation. Due to rising and fluctuating global temperatures, climate and weather changes the food produce and supply are no more stable.

The data from World Bank clearly indicates that ‘India has one of the world’s highest demographics of children suffering from malnutrition, said to be double that of Sub-Saharan Africa’. According to UNICEF, nearly half of all deaths in children under 5, in India, are attributable to under nutrition. India with 195 million has the highest number of undernourished people. The statistics are appalling.

Various government programmes over the years have helped India to fight with this problem. Food is a fundamental human right as declared by the UN Human rights commission. Food security is also a directive principal of the state policy in the Indian constitution. Hence it is the duty of the governance to come up with programmes to ensure food security.

It is quite ironic that ‘a nation, which is riding high on various economic parameters to become the largest economy in the world in the upcoming decades, is still not able to come out from the dungeons of hunger and poverty’. The problems of hunger and malnutrition in India have been created by ‘structural poverty and inequality resulting in severe food insecurity’.

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