Q1. What are the essentials of a food security system?
Essentials of Food Security System are the following:
- Increasing domestic production of food to meet its growing demand
- Food should be available in adequate quantity as well as to meet nutritional requirements
- Food should be available at reasonable prices
- A buffer stock of food should be maintained
Q2. How is food security affected during a natural calamity?
In the times of any natural calamity, say a drought, the total production of foodgrains declines. It creates a shortage of food, particularly in the affected areas. Due to the shortage of food, the prices go up in the market. At high prices, poor people may not afford to buy food. If such a calamity occurs in a large area, it may lead to starvation.
Q3. Why is there a need for self-sufficiency in food grains in India?
Need for self-sufficiency in foodgrains arises from the following:
- to feed the growing population
- to fight against any natural calamity
- to reduce import of foodgrains
- to control prices of foodgrains
Q4. The task of attaining self-sufficiency in foodgrains in future seems to be difficult. Give two reasons in support of this statement.
The task of attaining self-sufficiency in foodgrains in future seems to be difficult in India. It is because:
- There has been a gradual shift from the cultivation of food crops to the cultivation of fruits, vegetables, oilseeds and crops which act as industrial raw materials.
- More and more land is being used for the construction of factories, residential buildings, etc.
Q5. Mention two objectives of PDS. [Important]
Two Objectives of PDS.
- To provide essential goods at subsidised prices to the consumers.
- To control prices of essential commodities.
Q6. Why is the procurement of foodgrains done in India?
The government procures foodgrains at pre-announced prices to provide incentives to farmers for raising the production of crops. The food procured by the government is distributed among the poorer section of the society through fair price shops at subsidised prices.
Q7. Mention two reasons behind excessive buffer stocks of foodgrains.
Two Reasons for Excessive Buffer Stock:
- There has been increasing in the minimum support price.
- The offtake of foodgrains under PDS has been declining.
Q8. State two consequences of the excess reserves of food grains in India.
Two Consequences of Excessive Buffer Stock:
- It has raised economic costs i.e. cost incurring for procuring, storing and distribution of foodgrains.
- It has adversely affected the food grain prices.
Q9. Mention two measures are undertaken by the government to reduce the stock of foodgrains.
Measures to Reduce Buffer Stock.
- Open sale at prices much below the economic cost.
- Increase in BPL allocation from 28 kg to 35 kg per month per family.
Q10. What is the Public Distribution System? [CBSE 2010]
Public Distribution System
The Food Corporation of India procures food at pre-announced prices. The state governments distribute foodgrains to poor through ration shops at subsidised prices fixed by the government. This is called the Public Distribution System. There are about 4.6 lakh ration shops all over the country. Ration shops are also known as fair price shops.
Q11. How cooperatives are helpful in food security? [CBSE 2010]
Role of cooperatives in providing food security:
In many parts of India, cooperative societies set up their own cooperatives to supply different items at cheaper rates.
Following are the examples:
- In Tamil Nadu, 94% of ration shops are run by cooperatives.
- In Delhi, Mother Dairy is supplying milk and milk products like butter, ghee etc. to the people at much-subsidised rates.
- In Gujarat, Amul is doing the same job of supplying milk and milk products to people at much cheaper rates. It is being run by cooperatives. It has brought the 'White Revolution' to India.
Q12. Why is food security essential? How food security is affected during disaster? [CBSE 2010]
Need for food security: The poorest section of the society might be food-insecure most of the time, while persons above poverty lines might also be food insecure when the country faces a national disaster. Due to natural calamity, say drought, total production of foodgrain decreases. It creates a shortage of food in affected areas. Due to shortage of food, the prices go up. At higher prices, some people cannot buy food. So food security is essential.
Q13. State three dimensions of food security. [CBSE 2010]
Three dimensions of food security:
- Availability of food: There should be enough stocks of food items in the country through good production, through imports or previous year's stock stored in government godowns.
- Accessibility of food: Food should be within the reach of everybody.
- Affordability of food: The prices of different food articles should be such that every individual is able to buy them. The foodgrain items should be within the reach of the people.
Q14. Why has Public Distribution System been criticised? Explain any three reasons. [CBSE 2010]
- Market ineffectiveness of PDS: Average consumption of PDS grain at all India level is only 1 kg per person per month. Average consumption figure in the states of Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh is only 300 gms, while in states like Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu this figure is 3-4 kg per person per month. As a result, the poor has to depend on markets rather than ration shops.
- With the introduction of three types of cards and three different prices for the same articles to the different people, the whole system of Public Distribution System has become much complicated.
- PDS dealers malpractices: The ration shop dealers resort to malpractices. They divert the grains to the open market to get a better margin.
Q15. What is the difference between chronic and seasonal hunger? Write any two. [CBSE 2010]
Chronic Hunger: When diet is inadequate in terms of quantity or quality, it is called chronic hunger. Usually, poor people suffer from chronic hunger because of their low income and as a result their inability to buy food even for their survival. This type of hunger is more or less of a permanent nature and presents throughout the year.
Seasonal Hunger: Seasonal hunger persists only during a particular period of the season. It is linked with the cycles of food growing and harvesting. In rural areas, seasonal hunger is prevalent because of the seasonal nature of agricultural activities. The gap between the sowing season and the reaping season is marked by seasonal hunger.
Q16. Which are the people more prone to food insecurity? Explain. [2011 (T-2)]
The people worst affected by food insecurity in India are landless labourers, traditional artisans, providers of traditional services and destitutes including beggars. In the urban areas, the food insecure people are those whose working members are generally employed in ill-paid occuptions and casual labour market. These workers are largely engaged in seasonal activities and are paid very low wages that just ensure bare survival.
Q17. Describe briefly the measures adopted to achieve self-sufficiency in foodgrains since Independence. [2011 (T-2)]
After Independence, Indian policy makers adopted all measures to achieve self-sufficiency in foodgrains. India adopted a new strategy in agriculture which resulted in Green Revolution especially in the production of wheat and rice.
Q18. What steps have been taken by the Government of India to provide food security to the poor? Explain any three. [2011 (T-2)]
To provide food security to the poor following steps have been taken by the Government of India:
PDS: Public Distribution System (PDS) was established for the distribution of food grains among the poor.
ICDS: Integrated Child Development Services were launched in 1975 to ensure nutrition among children of the backward areas.
FFW: ‘Food for work’ was introduced in 1977-78 to provide employment opportunities for the poor to ensure food security for them.
Q19. Describe Public Distribution System (PDS) is the most important step taken by the Government of India towards ensuring food security. [2011 (T-2)]
In the beginning, the coverage of PDS was universal with no discrimination between poor and non-poor. Then later on the policy was made more targeted.
Important Features of PDS
Name of Year of Coverage target Full name scheme introduction group
PDS up to 1992 Universal Public Distribution System
RPDS 1992 Backward blocks Revamped Public Distribution System
TDPS 1997 Poor and non-poor Targeted Public Distribution System
AAY 2000 Poorest of the Poor Antyodaya Anna Yojana
APS 2000 Indigent senior citizen Annapurna Scheme
Q20. What is buffer stock? Why is it created by the government? [2011 (T-2)]
Buffer stock is the stock of foodgrains, namely wheat and rice procured by the government through the Food Corporation of India (FCI). The FCI purchases wheat and rice from the farmers in states where there is surplus production. The farmers are paid a pre-announced price for their crops. Buffer stock is created to distribute foodgrains in deficit areas and among the poorer strata of society at price lower than the market price. It is also used at a time of adverse weather conditions.
Q21. What are famines? Who were the most affected group of the devastating famine of Bengal? [2011 (T-2)]
A famine is characterised by widespread deaths due to starvation and epidemics caused by forced use of contaminated water, of decaying food and loss of body resistance due to weakening from starvation. The agricultural labourers, fishermen, transport workers and other casual labourers were affected the most.
Q22. Why is buffer stock created by the government? Give any three reasons. [2011 (T-2)]
Buffer stock is created due to following reasons:
- To distribute food grains in deficit areas.
- To distribute food grains among the poorer strata of society at prices lower than market price.
- To resolve the problem of shortage of food during adverse weather conditions or during periods of calamity.