Challenges in Achieving Food Security in India

India is suffering from one of the largest numbers of undernourished people in the world, despite having one of world’s largest farm outputs. There are various reasons behind the existence of this dichotomy. The reasons behind this challenge can be broadly categorized into 3 types which are listed below.

Traditional Concept 

The 2 factors that are considered under this category are listed below.

  1. Unavailability of Food
  2. Poor Purchasing Capacity

Socio-Demographic Concept

The 5 factors that are considered under this category are listed below.

  1. Illiteracy
  2. Poor Environmental Conditions
  3. Gender Bias
  4. Unemployment
  5. Overcrowding

Politico-Developmental Concept

The 4 factors that come under this category are listed below.

  1. Poorly monitored nutritional programmes.
  2. Poor Public Distribution System (PDS)
  3. Lack of Political Will
  4. Lack of intersectoral coordination


Aspirants would find this topic very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Challenges of Food Security in India – Solutions 

One can work on a multi-pronged approach to find solutions to the problem of food security in India. Some of the important strategies that can be implemented are mentioned below.

Enhancing Food Storage Technologies and Increasing Productivity in Agricultural Sector

Agricultural productivity can be increased by using various techniques mentioned below.

  1. Better techniques must be implemented in farming
  2. Increased irrigation
  3. Distribution of cultivable land and size of farms
  4. Providing seeds with higher quality
  5. Providing fertilizers

Another reason behind food not being distributed equitably is that a significant amount is wasted. To handle this crisis the following steps need to be taken.

  1. Invest more in conducting research on grain storage technologies.
  2. Collaborate with nations that have high farm output but low food wastage due to superior grain storage facilities.

Food availability to people and Accessibility to Below Poverty Line (BPL)

  1. Try to find the exact number of people BPL
  2. Provide subsidies to people above poverty line
  3. Reduce food prices and increase affordability by improving inter-state movement, stocking.
  4. The inefficiency in Public Distribution System (PDS) due to corruption must be eliminated and should be made transparent.

Focus more on Schemes to Increase Employment and Purchasing Power in Rural & Urban Areas

  1. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is a good program working in the direction of increasing purchasing power of people in rural areas. Government should try to come up with more innovative programs to improve purchasing power.
  2. Come up with more Poverty Alleviation Programmes.
  3. Focus on workers in the informal sector.

Crop Diversification, Establishing Food Grain Banks

  1. Focus on growing legumes as an alternative to rice and wheat.
  2. Focus on growing non-cereal crops such as oilseeds, fruits and vegetables.
  3. Create decentralized food banks in villages, it may help in tackling corruption.

Monitoring of Nutritional Programmes

  1. Health departments officials must initiate steps to monitor the implementation of various programmes. 
  2. Need to make sure they have all the latest information and evaluate the effectiveness of the program implementation.

Community Participation and Intersectoral Coordination

  1. There needs to be greater participation from the various stakeholders like Panchayati Raj Institutions, Self Help Groups (SHG)
  2. Attention also needs to be paid to hygiene, sanitation and nutrition education.

Challenges in Achieving Food Security in India – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2020.


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