Q1 What happens to the food security when there is a natural calamity or a disaster?
When there is a disaster or a calamity, total production of foodgrains decreases. It creates a shortage of food in the affected areas. As a result, the supply of foodgrains falls in relation to demand which further results in price rise. In such a situation, majority of people cannot affoerd food and they begin to starve and die.
Q2 Which are the people that are more prone to food insecurity?
1. Landless people with little or no land to depend upon.
2. Traditional artisans
3. Providers of traditional services
4. Petty self-employed workers
5. Destitutes including beggars
6. People employed in ill-paid occupations
7. Casual labourers
8. Labourers engaged in seasonal activities
9. Women, elderly, sick members and handicapped
10. SCs, STs and some sections of the OBCs who have either poor land base or very low land productivity
11. People affected by the natural disasters and calamities
Q3 Differentiate between seasonal and chronic hunger.
Seasonal Hunger : It is related to the cycles of food security and insecurity. Seasonal hunger exists when a person is unable to get work for the entire year. It is a type of hunger when a person doesn’t get proper food neither in terms of quantity nor in terms of quality for some time during the year.
Chronic Hunger : It is a consequence of diets persistently inadequate in terms of quantity and/or quality. Poorer sections of the society suffer from chronic hunger because of their very low income and in turn inability to buy food even for their survival.
Q4 What is buffer stock and why is it created by the government?
Buffer stock refers to the stock of wheat and rice maintained by the governmnet and it is handled by the FCI. FCI procures wheat and rice from the farmers immediately afetr the harvesting of these crops. The stocks of these grains are released through the Fair Price Shops.
The principal objective of buffer stock is to maintain prices of food grains. The price stability is essential to protect the interests of both producers and
Different conditions favour producers and consumers.
If there is a bumper crop : in this situation market price of wheat and rice will fall down drastically. Farmers will be the losers. By guaranteeing to purchase wheat at a pre announced price, the government ensures that the price of wheat and rice do not crash and the farmers’ interest is protected. If there is a crop deficit : in this situation market price of wheat will rise sharply. This will cause inflationary tendencies in the economy. Buffer stocks
can be used to check the prise rise. Wheat would be released from the buffer stock and would be available for sale in the market. Supply of wheat would
icrease and the price will come down. Price stability would be ensured. Consumers’ interests will not be harmed.
Thus, buffer stocks help to protect the interests of both producers and consumers.
Q5 How can we ensure the availability of food?
Availability of food can be ensured by production within the country, food imports and the previous years of stock in government granaries.
Q6 What do you mean by the accessibility of food?
Accessibility means the food is within the easy reach and approach of every person.
Q7 What do you mean by affordability of food?
Affordability of food implies that an individual has enough money to buy sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet one’s dietary needs.
Q8 How is food security ensured in India?
To ensure the availibility, accessibility and affordability of food to all sections of society the Indian Government has designed food security system, which is composed of two elements namely:
1. Buffer stock
2. Public Distribution System
Buffer Stock : It is the stock of foodgrains, namely wheat and rice procured by the government through the Food Corporation of India ( FCI ). The FCI
purchases foodgrains from the farmers in the states where there is surplus production. The purchased foodgrains are stored in granaries.
Public distribution System : It is the system in which the food procured by the FCI is distributed through the government regulated ration shops among the pooe sections of the society. The items such as foodgrains, sugar, kerosene etc are sold to the people at a price lower than the market price.
Q9 Explain the current status od PDS.
PDS is one of the most important steps taken by the Governmnet of India towards ensuring food security.
In the begining the coverage of PDS was universal with no discrimination between the poor and non-poor. Over the years, the policy related to PDS has
been revised to make it more more efficient and targeted. In 1993, Revamped Public Distribution (RPDS) was introduced in 1700 blocks of the country. The aim was to provide the benefits of PDS to remote and backward ares.
From June 1997, a new policy Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS)was introduced to adopt the principle of targeting the ‘poor in all areas’.
Further in 2000, two special schemes were launched i.e. ANTYODYA ANNA YOJNA ( AAY ) and ANNAPURNA SCHEME (APS) with special target groups of ‘poorest of the poor ‘ and indignant senior citizens respectively. The functioning of these schemes was linked with the existing network of the PDS.
Q10 What are the problems associated with high minimum support price of the foodgrains?
1. MSP of wheat and rice has been continuously rising from year to year. Higher MSP has caused a number of problems like : higher MSP of wheat and rice has induced the farmers to divert the land from the production of coarse grains to the production of wheat and rice only. Coarse grains are the staple diet of the poor. The poor tend to suffer.
2. The intensive utilization of water in the cultivation of rice has lead to environmental degradation. It has also led to a fall in the water level.
Q11 What problems are associated with the high levels of buffer stock?
The high levels of buffer stock of foodgrains is undesirable because :
1. It can be wasteful.
2. It results in the deterioration of quality of food grains.
3. It causes high carrying costs, storing costs and maintanance costs.
Q12 Mention the problems based in the functioning of ration shops.
Ration shop dealers are found resorting to malpractices like
1. Hoarding and black marketing i.e. Diverting the grains to the open market to get better margin.
2. Selling poor quality grains through the ration shops.
3. Irregular opening time of shops.
4. Use of false wights
5. Selling of adultrated grains and other essential commodities of consumption.
Q13 What are the different type of ration cards?
There are 3 types of ration cards.
1. Antyodya cards for the poorest of the poor.
2. BPL cards for those who lie below the povety line.
3. APL cards for all others who are above the poverty line.