ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Food SecuritySubscribe to Food Security

Food Consumption Expenditures and the COVID-19 Pandemic in India

The COVID-19 pandemic led to lockdowns and disruptions in food supply chains and emerged as both a demand- and a supply-side shock. Based on the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy– Consumer Pyramids Household Survey monthly expenditure data for the period from January 2019 to August 2021, changes in food expenditure shares in India as a result of the pandemic across income and socio-economic and demographic groups are examined. The pandemic-induced lockdowns resulted in a sharp increase in the share of food in the total expenditure across rural and urban India for all income groups and castes and religions, but the intensity of shifts varied.

Supply-side Problems in Food Loss and Waste

The food systems approach proposes reducing food loss and waste as a potential solution to achieve food and nutritional security. This is formalised in the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Despite the issue receiving such ubiquitous recognition, systematic efforts to measure and address FLW are absent in India. Our calculations show that one-sixth of agricultural production, accounting for one-tenth of the gross value added in agriculture, is lost. An efficient cold chain can reduce these losses substantially. However, the concept of an integrated cold chain is still in its infancy in the country, with greater emphasis being placed on single commodity cold storage. Promotional policies like the negotiable warehousing receipt system and the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund have not made an impact. Cold chain development will remain exclusive to export-oriented farmers and traders unless policies are introduced to enable small farmers, farmer producer organisations, and self-help groups to harness its benefits. Relevant start-up innovations can be scaled up through public support. A new institutional mechanism is needed to address the issue of FLW and achieve India’s SDGs.

Evaluation of the National Food Security Act, 2013 in Bihar: Reflections from the Field Study

The National Food Security Act, 2013 is a far-reaching public policy intervention to protect people against food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition. The NFSA 2013 brings the old public distribution system into the ambit of the NFSA 2013. The NFSA needs to be routinely evaluated for the better performance and assessment of its implementation as per the stated objectives. This study assesses the overall status and progress of the implementation of NFSA 2013 through the PDS in Bihar based on a field study conducted in 14 districts.

Agricultural Transformation or Compromising Food Security

A response to the paper “Water and Agricultural Transformation in India: A Symbiotic Relationship—I” by Mihir Shah, P S Vijayshankar, and Francesca Harris (EPW, 17 July 2021) argues that the solutions proposed in the paper will neither revolutionise India’s agriculture sector nor minimise the water and soil problems listed.

Alarming Hunger in India

Does the Global Hunger Index convey the actual picture of hunger in India? While there are methodological issues in the measurement of calorific undernourishment, India’s performance remains poor in tackling child undernutrition, but not so in child mortality. The varying performance in the three domains calls for an objective assessment and targeted remedial measures in aspects where performance is poor.

Impending Water Crisis in India

Emerging Water Insecurity in India: Lessons from an Agriculturally Advanced State by Ranjit Singh Ghuman and Rajeev Sharma, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018; pp xxvi + 298, price not indicated .

Wholesale and Retail Food Prices in Maharashtra during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The analysis builds on the extant literature in three ways: it covers the longest period of the lockdown; offers robust comparisons of means and variances of food commodities’ prices and the price wedge between them in different cities/market centres in Maharashtra during the lockdown relative to the pre-pandemic period; and finally gives a distillation of time-series analysis of co-movements of wholesale and retail prices between pairs of centre/wholesale and retail prices, mutual dependence of wholesale and retail prices, taking their lags into account, and their time-varying volatility.

Pandemic Lessons

Eesha Kunduri ( kundu025@umn.edu ) is a PhD student at the Department of Geography, Environment and Society, and fellow, Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Shamindra Nath Roy ( shamindra@cprindia.org ) is a senior researcher at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. Shahana Sheikh ( shahana.sheikh@yale.edu ) is a PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science, Yale University.

Globalisation and the Indian Farmer

The article analyses the impact of globalisation on income and levels of living in the rural sector. It also discusses the changes in India’s stance on food security in global negotiations.

On the Question of Access to Welfare and Health for Women During the Initial Phase of the Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, women migrant workers were placed at a distinct disadvantage. Millions of women workers in labour-intensive occupations, from domestic work to construction lost their jobs, while also shouldering the responsibility of caregiving. This study draws on in-depth interviews with women workers in Delhi to document their life and experiences in the aftermath of the national lockdown in 2020. It brings to light a range of challenges around food security, caregiving, income security, and social protection. It documents the impact of existing inequalities of gender, migration status, and class on access to support, which has implications on the long-term repercussions of the current economic crisis.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Tribal Women in Nanded District of Maharashtra

This article is an attempt to critically analyse the impact of COVID-19 on tribal women. Tribal women already experience poor access to basic needs such as healthcare, safe and pure water, sanitation, education, etc. Now they are facing difficulties in obtaining immediate support from the government for healthcare facilities and emergency services for livelihood and survival. This pandemic has created food insecurity and these people have lost their homes and means of livelihood. Hence, this article highlights the consequences of COVID-19 and the struggle of tribal women in this difficult situation.

Agricultural Reforms in India

In its quest for food security, India pursued high-productivity agriculture with state support, which was gradually withdrawn resulting in agrarian distress, as also environmental damage. Agricultural reforms in India need to be tailored keeping this context in mind. While linking agriculture to private corporate sector can be part of the strategy, the thrust has to be on the cooperative movement for storage, processing and marketing of agricultural products.

Pages

Back to Top