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Changing Food Consumption Pattern in Rural India: Implication on Food and Nutrition Security

Publisher: Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics

India faced two major problems at the time of Independence. The first one was the threat of famine and the consequent acute starvation due to low agricultural production and the lack of an appropriate food distribution system. The other was chronic energy deficiency due to (a) low dietary intake because of poverty and low purchasing power; (b) high prevalence of infection because of poor access to safedrinking water, sanitation and health care; and (c) poor utilisation of available facilities due to low literacy and lack of awareness. The country adopted multisectoral, multipronged strategy to combat these problems and to improve the nutritional status of the population (Government of India, 2002). The achievement of self-sufficiency in macro level was accorded high priority in the initial years of plan process. India’s rapid population growth at that time was posed to threat of national food security, which had reached a dangerous proportion in the mid-1960s, paving the way for introduction of ‘Green Revolution’ in the late sixties. The food availability and price stability had been considered as good measures of food security till 1970. Concerted effort with seed-fertiliser technology had led to growth of foodgrain production that exceeded population growth in the subsequent decades. The country has moved from chronic shortages to an era of surplus and export in most food items in recent years. Although physical access to food has been achieved, economic access at the micro level lagged behind indicating a distorting trend in the food and nutritional security front.

Author(s): Ramesh Golait, N.C Pradhan | Views(247)

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