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Long Answer Questions - Food Security in India - Social Studies (SST) Class 9

Q.1. What is the difference between PDS and TPDS?

Ans. Difference between PDS and TPDS :

The food procured by the FCI is distributed through fair price shops among the poor.

This is called public distribution system. There was no discrimination between the poor and non poor under PDS. Under the TPDS, the government has announced separate issue prices for people below poverty line (BPL) and for above poverty line (APL) families. In December 2000, two special schemes were launched to make the TPDS more focussed and targeted towards the poor. These were Antyodayo Anna Yojana (AAY) and the Annapurna Scheme (APS). The two schemes were linked with TPDS.

Under the AAY, poor families were identified by the respective state rural development boards. Twenty-five kilograms of foodgrains were made available to each eligible family at highly subsidised rate of Rs 2 per kg for wheat and Rs 3 per kg for rice. This quantity has been raised from 25 to 35 kg with effect from April 2002.

Q.2. Discuss the role of government in the stabilisation of food grain prices.

Ans. Government's Measures to Stabilise foodgrain prices.

Our government has adopted the following measures to stabilise food grain prices.

(i) The government has often resorted to import of foodgrains whenever it became necessary. For example, it entered into the PL 480 agreement with USA in 1956 to import food grain to face food crisis in the country.

(ii) It tries to maintain price stability through buffer stocks. It buys foodgrains during crop season when prices fall and sell them when prices tend to rise in times of shortage. Had the government not purchased the food grains, their prices might have fallen due to increased supply in the market. Similarly, in the times of shortage, when these foodgrains are supplied to the consumers at subsidised prices, their prices do not rise much.

Q.3. Explain briefly the measures undertaken by the government to increase the production and supply of foodgrains.

Ans. Government's measures to increase the production and supply of foodgrains

Main steps undertaken by the government in this regard are as follows :

(i) Land Reform Measures : Our government introduced several land reform measures soon after independence to increase domestic production of foodgrains. These measures included (i) abolition of intermediaries to transfer land to the actual tiller (ii) tenancy reforms to regulate rents paid by the tenants to the landlords (iii) imposition of ceiling on landholdings to procure surplus land for distribution among the landless.

(ii) Provision of Institutional Credit. To provide cheap and adequate agricultural finance many institutional credit agencies were set up. The expansion of institutional credit to farmers were made especially through cooperatives and commercial banks. As a result, the importance of village moneylenders, who used to exploit the farmers by charging high rates of interest, has drastically declined. Initially, only four percent of the total agricultural credit was advanced by cooperatives and commercial banks in 1950-51. Now their percentage share rose to 89 percent in 2004-05.

(iii) New Agricultural Strategy. New agricultural strategy was introduced which resulted in the Green Revolution, especially in the production of wheat and rice. Total production of foodgrain has increased from 50.8 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 212.0 million tonnes in 2003-04.

Q.4. Explain the paradox of excess stocks of food grains and starvation.

Ans. Paradox of Excess Stocks and Starvation.

India has experienced a paradoxical situation in recent years. While the granaries of the government are overflowing with excess foodgrain stock, we also find people without food. We, in India, find widespread hunger even when we have excess stock of foodgrains. The main reason for this unfortunate situation is that many poor families do not have enough purchasing power (i.e. money income) to buy food. Over one-fifth of the country’s population suffers from chronic hunger. They have to go to their beds with empty stomach. A good food security network, therefore, should not only ensure adequate physical availability of food but also increase the capabilities of the poor to buy food. To tackle this unfortunate situation, our government has launched several special poverty alleviation programmes. These programmes aim at increasing income of the poor so as to enable them to buy food.

Q.5. Point out the major defects of India’s food security system.

Ans. Defects of India’s Food Security System :

The major flaws/drawbacks of food security system in India are as follows :

(i) Limited Benefit to the Poor. The poor has not benefited much from the PDS. They have depended to a great extent on the open market for most of the commodities. Ration cards are issued only to those households who have proper residential addresses. Hence, a large number of homeless poor could not be covered under the PDS.

(ii) Leakages from PDS. Another defect of PDS relates to the problem of leakages of goods from PDS to open market. The shopkeepers who are running ration shops sell ration in the open market at higher prices instead of selling to ration card-holders at subsidised prices.

(iii) Increase in Prices. The PDS has also failed to protect the poor against price rise. There have been frequent increases in procurement and issue prices. Moreover, excessive buffer stocks of foodgrains has reduced its quantity available in the open market. This has also put an upward pressure on the market prices of food grains.

(iv) Rising Burden of Food Subsidy. PDS is highly subsidised in India. This has put a huge fiscal burden on the government. For example, food subsidy burden has risen from Rs 602 crore in 1980-81 to Rs 25,800 crore in 2003-04.

Q.6. What are the major functions of the Food Corporation of India? [2011 (T-2)]

Ans. The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has the following major functions :-
(i) FCI purchases wheat and rice from the farmers in states where there is surplus production.
(ii) They announce Minimum Support Price (MSP) on which government buy the surplus from the farmers.
(iii) They keep the record and mantain the buffer stock.

Q.7. Describe four main advantages of the Public Distribution System. [2011 (T-2)]

Ans. The main advantages of Public Distribution System are :-
(i) It is the most effective instrument of government policy over the years in stabilising prices and making food available to consumers at affordable prices.
(ii) It averts widespread hunger and famine by supplying food from surplus regions of the country to the deficit ones.
(iii) It revises the prices of food grains in favour of poor household.
(iv) The declaration of minimum support price and procurement has contributed to an increase in food grains production and provided income security to farmers in certain regions.

Q.8. How does PDS ensure food security in India? Explain. [2011 (T-2)]

Ans. PDS or public distribution system distribute the food grains by the help of ration shops among the poorer sections of the society. Presently there are 4.6 lakh ration shops all over the country. Ration shops also known as fair price shops who keep the stock of foodgrains, sugar and cooking kerosene oil. These items are sold to people at a price lower than the market price. Any family with a ration card can buy a stipulated amount of these items (e.g. 35 kg of grains, 5 litres of kerosene, 5 kgs of sugar etc.) every month from the ration shop. PDS keeps on revising the prices in favour of urban poors.

Q.9. What are the problems of the functioning of the ration shops? Describe any four of them. [2011 (T-2)]

Ans. The problems of the functioning of the ration shops are :-

(i) Irregular opening of ration shops and selling poor quality grains at ration shops.
(ii) Massive unsold foodgrains that piles up at ration shops become a big problem for FCI.
(iii) A family even slightly above poverty line gets very little discounts at ration shop. The prices are almost as high as open market price.
(iv) The category of ration cards and range of prices do not exist now.

Q.10. Describe in four points your awareness about National Food for Work Programme. [2011 (T-2)]


(i) National Food for Work Programme was launched on November 14, 2004 in 150 most backward districts of the country.
(ii) The programme is open to all rural poor who are in need of wage employment and desire to do manual unskilled work.
(iii) It is a 100 percent centrally-sponsored scheme and the food grains are provided to states free of cost.
(iv) For year 2004-05, Rs 2020 crores have been allocated for the programme in addition to 20 lakh tonnes of food grains.

Q.11. Explain how Green Revolution helped India to be self-sufficient in food grain production. [2011 (T-2)]

Ans. Green Revolution was a policy adopted by Indian policy makers for the growth in production of wheat and rice. HYV seeds were introduced and there was massive increase in production of wheat and rice. The increase in foodgrains was, however, disproportionate. The highest rate of growth was achieved in Punjab and Haryana, where foodgrain production jumped from 7.23 million tonnes in 1964-65 to reach an all-time high of 30.33 million tonnes in 1995-96.

Production of rice was recorded to rise significantly in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
(Production of foodgrains in India)
(Source : Economic Survey 2004-05)

Q.12. Write a note on the role of cooperatives in providing food and related items. [2011 (T-2)]

Ans. The cooperatives also play an important role in food security in India, especially in southern and western parts of the country.

(i) They set up shops to sell low price goods to poor people. For example, Mother Dairy in Delhi sells milk and vegetables to consumers at controlled rates decided by the Government of India.

(ii) Cooperatives like Academy of Development Science (ADS) has facilitated a network of NGOs for setting up grain banks. ADS works in Maharashtra. They also organise trainingand capacity building programmes on food security for NGOs. The ADS grain bank programme is acknolwledged as a successful and innonative food security intervention.

The document Long Answer Questions - Food Security in India | Social Studies (SST) Class 9 is a part of the Class 9 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 9.
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FAQs on Long Answer Questions - Food Security in India - Social Studies (SST) Class 9

1. What is food security in India?
Ans. Food security in India refers to the availability, accessibility, and affordability of food for all individuals in the country. It ensures that every person has access to an adequate amount of nutritious food to lead a healthy and active life.
2. What are the major causes of food insecurity in India?
Ans. There are several causes of food insecurity in India, including: 1. Poverty: Poverty is a major cause of food insecurity as it limits people's ability to afford nutritious food. 2. Unequal distribution of food: The unequal distribution of food across different regions and social groups leads to food insecurity for many. 3. Inadequate agricultural practices: Lack of modern agricultural techniques, irrigation facilities, and infrastructure affects food production and contributes to food insecurity. 4. Climate change: Erratic weather conditions, such as droughts and floods, can damage crops and reduce agricultural productivity, leading to food insecurity. 5. Population growth: India's rapidly growing population puts pressure on the existing food resources, making it difficult to ensure food security for all.
3. How is the Indian government addressing food security?
Ans. The Indian government has implemented several measures to address food security in the country: 1. Public Distribution System (PDS): The government operates the PDS to distribute essential food commodities such as rice, wheat, sugar, and kerosene at subsidized rates to vulnerable sections of society. 2. National Food Security Act (NFSA): The NFSA, enacted in 2013, aims to provide legal entitlements to subsidize food grains to around 67% of the population. It also includes provisions for maternity benefits and nutritious meals for children in schools. 3. Minimum Support Price (MSP): The government sets a minimum price for certain crops to ensure farmers receive a fair price for their produce. This helps in stabilizing agricultural incomes and ensuring food security. 4. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY): This centrally sponsored scheme aims to enhance the production and productivity of agriculture and allied sectors through financial assistance to states. 5. Mid-Day Meal Scheme: The government provides free meals to school children to improve their nutrition and encourage school attendance.
4. How does climate change impact food security in India?
Ans. Climate change has several impacts on food security in India: 1. Erratic rainfall patterns: Climate change leads to irregular rainfall patterns, causing droughts or floods. This affects crop production and leads to reduced food availability. 2. Increase in temperature: Rising temperatures can negatively impact crop growth and productivity. Heatwaves can damage crops and lead to crop failures. 3. Changing pest and disease patterns: Climate change can alter the distribution and behavior of pests and diseases, affecting crop health and reducing yields. 4. Water scarcity: Climate change can exacerbate water scarcity, making irrigation difficult and affecting agricultural productivity. 5. Impact on fisheries: Climate change affects marine ecosystems, leading to changes in fish populations and impacting the livelihoods of fishermen and access to fish as a food source.
5. How does poverty contribute to food insecurity in India?
Ans. Poverty is a significant contributor to food insecurity in India due to the following reasons: 1. Lack of purchasing power: Poverty limits people's ability to buy nutritious food. Many individuals and families cannot afford to purchase an adequate quantity of food, leading to malnutrition and food insecurity. 2. Limited access to resources: Poor households often lack access to land, credit, and other resources necessary for farming or income generation. This hinders their ability to produce or procure food. 3. Inadequate infrastructure: Poverty-stricken areas often lack basic infrastructure like roads, storage facilities, and markets. This makes it difficult to transport and store food, leading to wastage and food insecurity. 4. Lack of employment opportunities: Poverty often results from limited job opportunities and low wages. This restricts people's ability to earn a sufficient income to meet their food requirements. 5. Vulnerability to price fluctuations: Poor households are more susceptible to price fluctuations in food commodities. When prices rise, they struggle to afford essential food items, leading to food insecurity.
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