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

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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In its quest for food security, India pursued high-productivity agriculture with state support, which was gradually withdrawn resulting in agrarian distress, as also environmental damage.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.

Achieving Sustainable Healthy Food Systems

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report for 2020 shows revised numbers of those undernourished, and a continuity in the use of measurement standards initiated in the 2017 report. FAO also initiated a dashboard approach, to bring a deeper level of analysis on the current state of food security and its associated outcomes. What the dashboard needs but currently lacks is data on actual food consumption. This paper outlines the importance of filling this gap, globally.

Food Security and the Public Distribution System in Jammu and Kashmir

Till 1990–91, Jammu and Kashmir used to be a food surplus state, but it turned into a food-deficit state by 2000, due to changing land use pattern, stagnant agricultural production, unfavourable climate, conflict, and misplaced policy priorities. J&K faces issues with availability and accessibility more than with affordability. This study suggests systematic reforms to curb the leakages within the system in order to provide food security to the people at large. *** Corrigendum In our article “Food Security and the Public Distribution System in Jammu and Kashmir,” published in the 26 December 2020 issue of EPW, we inadvertently missed citing Dar (2015) for Table 1 and para 7 on page 19. Therefore, we add the following citation in our article through this corrigendum: Dar, Tanveer Ahmad (2015): “Food Security in Kashmir: Food Production and the Universal Public Distribution System,” Social Change, Vol 45, No 3, pp 400–20. The inconvenience is deeply regretted. —Shaveta Kohli, Khurshid Ahmad Rather The error is regretted. — Ed.

Can Biofortified Crops Reduce Malnutrition in Bihar?

There was a high prevalence of malnutrition among over a hundred children who suffered and succumbed to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur in 2019. Central and state governments were criticised for not doing enough to reduce the impact of the outbreak and, more generally, the prevalence of malnutrition among low-income groups. Biofortified projects can offer a method to achieve greater food security. These projects can be implemented effectively by making changes to pre-existing food security schemes at the level of procurement, distribution, and delivery.

Hunger and Structural Inequality

We consider that the right to food is a universal human right. Violation of this right results in hunger and malnutrition. We believe that the problems of hunger and malnutrition in our country are created by structural poverty and inequality resulting in severe food insecurity. This situation is...

Children's Development

The Integrated Child Development Services scheme and maternity entitlements can play a crucial role in improving children's food and nutrition security. Both interventions are part of the National Food Security Act, though maternity entitlements have yet to be activated. Odisha has experimented with several creative policies, including initiating a maternity entitlements scheme in 2011 before the NFSA was enacted, introduction of eggs and decentralised procurement of take-home rations in the ICDS. This article, based on a field study of the two children's schemes in four districts in December 2014, reports how they perform and identifies areas for further action.

Food Security

Bihar's public distribution system used to be one of the worst in India, but the system has improved significantly from 2011 onwards. The National Food Security Act, backed early on by the political leadership, enabled the state to include the bulk of the rural population in this improved system. However, there is still a long way to go in ensuring that the system is reliable, transparent and corruption-free.

Public Distribution System Reforms and Consumption in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh's public distribution system reforms have been lauded as a model for the National Food Security Act, and as one that other states can emulate. Previous research has shown that PDS rice consumption increased in Chhattisgarh following reforms by the Raman Singh government, which began in 2004. However, one-third of PDS rice consumption growth in Chhattisgarh took place before 2004. This finding suggests that the pre-2004 reforms to fair price shop ownership and state procurement by the Ajit Jogi government contributed to PDS consumption growth. Our findings suggest that sustained reforms, when coupled with political and social will, can improve PDS access, and that improvements may not be substantial or sustained in the absence of these factors.

Food Security in Drought-Prone Areas

The functioning of the Public Distribution System (PDS) in India has come under scrutiny because of rising burden of subsidy and storage cost and meagre coverage of the poor and the actual benefits received by them. It is argued in this paper that the existing system has become unwieldy and unsustainable and that the time has come to review it, especially in the context of panchayat raj institutions (PRI) and the role they are expected to play in regard to the rural poor. With the help of illustrative data from two drought-prone districts of Karnataka, an attempt is made in the paper to demonstrate the feasibility of a decentralised system operated by PRI based on the local staples consumed by the poor. The result seems encouraging enough to suggest that it would be worthwhile to have more substantive investigation as also pilot projects to test the workability of the decentralised system.

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