India is said to have the largest number of undernourished people in the world i.e., 212 million, even though substantial progress in health has been made over the past decades and farm output has also multiplied many fold.Let us look at the reasons for food insecurity in India:
Incorrect system of Food distribution
Food Distribution should be a priority over food production in solving food insecurity. In India the public distribution mechanisms work on the principle of distribution to various categories of population classified as below BPL and above BPL. Often deserving populations who don’t fit in these categories get excluded.
Better monitoring of government launched nutrition programmes
We hear of many government launched nutrition programmes for kids and mothers but they are not properly implemented and post implementation the monitoring is not adequate.
The Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) is one such scheme where states such as Bihar and Orissa where the poverty ratio is very high are still to properly implement these schemes.
Improvement of food storage
India wastes huge amounts of food every year and it would be very useful to build better storage systems like for example China, which has invested in advanced storage facilities armoured with modern equipment. As both these countries have the largest populations in the
world and feeding them should be a priority, India can take professional help from China to develop cold chain storage systems and food grain storage systems to improve it’s food
House-hold vegetable gardening
Every household can start growing their own vegetables and fruits to be self-dependent for their family’s nutrition requirements. This would also be more safe as no pesticides would be used and the food grown would be healthy for the family as well.
Foodnetindia urges the government to set up independent bodies specifically to implement and monitor the various nutrition and feeding programmes and ensure that the deserving population receives the benefits of these programmes.