TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS SOLVED
Q1. How is food security ensured in India?
Food security is ensured in India only if:
• enough food is available for all the persons.
• all persons have the capacity to buy food of acceptable quality, and
• there is no barrier on access to food.
Q2. Which are the people more prone to food insecurity?
Ans. (i) The SCs, STs and some sections of the OBCs who have either poor land base or very low landproductivity are prone to food insecurity.
(ii) The people affected by natural disasters, who have to migrate to other areas in search of work, are also among the most food insecure people.
(iii) Pregnant and nursing mothers and children below the age of 5 years constitute an important segment of the food insecure population.
Q3. Which states are more food insecure in India?
Ans. States which are more food insecure in India-Uttar Pradesh (eastern and south-eastern parts), Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, parts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Q4. Do you believe that green revolution has made India self-sufficient in foodgrains? How?
Ans. The green revolution has played a significant role in making India self-sufficient in foodgrains. The revolution in the late 1960s introduced the Indian farmer to cultivation of wheat and rice using high yielding varieties (HYVs) of seeds. The HYV seeds promised to produce much greater amounts of grain on a single plant. As a result, the same piece of land would now produce far larger qualities of foodgrains than was possible earlier. Improved irrigation facilities, chemical fertilisers, pesticides etc. also contributed a lot in increasing agricultural production.
Q5. A section of people in India are still without food. Explain.
Ans. A section of people in India are still without food because of their very low income and in turn inability to buy food even for survival. In rural areas people have no regular work and therefore they suffer a lot during the months of unemployment. In urban areas because of the casual labour, e.g. there is less work for casual construction labour during the rainy season. These people hardly manage for their food.
Q6. What happens to the supply of food when there is a disaster or a calamity?
Ans. When there is a disaster or a calamity, total production of foodgrains decreases. It creates a shortage of food in the affected areas. Due to shortage of food, the prices go up. At the high prices, some people cannot afford to buy food. If the disaster or calamity happens in a very widespread area or is stretched over a longer time period, it may cause a situation of starvation.
Q7. Differentiate between seasonal hunger and chronic hunger.
Ans. Seasonal hunger is related to cycles of food growing and harvesting. This is prevalent in rural areas because of the seasonal nature of agricultural activities and in rural areas because of the casual labour, e.g., there is less work for casual construction labour during the rainy season. This type of hunger exists when a person is unable to get work for the entire year.
Chronic hunger is a consequence of diets persistently inadequate in terms of quantity and/or quality. Poor people suffer from chronic hunger because of their very low income and in turn inability to buy food even for survival.
Q8. What has our government done to provide food security to the poor? Discuss any two schemes launched by the government?
Ans. The government has launched several schemes in order to provide food security to the poor. Two of these schemes are mentioned below:
National Food for Work Programme: This programme was launched on November 14, 2004 in 150 most backward districts of the country with the objective of intensifying the generation of supplementary wage employment. The programme is open to all rural poor who are in need of wage employment and desire to do manual unskilled work. It is implemented as a 100 per cent centrally sponsored scheme and the foodgrains are provided to states free of cost.
Antyodaya Anna Yozana (AAY): This scheme was launched in December 2000. Under the scheme one crore of the poorest among the BPL families covered under the targeted public distribution system were identified. Poor families were identified by the respective state rural development departments through a Below Poverty Line (BPL) survey. Twenty five kilograms of foodgrains were made available to each eligible family at a highly subsidised + rate of t2 per kg for wheat and Z3 per kg for rice. This quantity has been enhanced from 25 to 35 kgs with effect from April 2002. The scheme has been further expanded twice by additional 50 lakh BPL families in June 2003 and in August 2004. With this increase, 2 crore families have been covered under the AAY.
Q9. Why is buffer stock created by the government?
Ans. Buffer stock is the stock of foodgrains, namely wheat and rice procured by the government through Food Corporation of India (FCI). The FCI purchases wheat and rice from the farmers in states where there is surplus production. The purchased foodgrains are stored in granaries. Thus, buffer stock is created by the government to distribute these foodgrains in the deficit areas and among the poorer strata of society at a price lower than the market price. Buffer stock also helps resolve the problem of shortage of food during adverse weather conditions.
Q10. Write notes on:
(a) Minimum support price
(b) Buffer stock
(c) Issue price
(d) Fair price shops
(a)Minimum Support Price:
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) purchases wheat and rice from the farmers in states where there is surplus production. The farmers are paid a pre-announced price for their crops. This price is called Minimum Support Price (MSP). The MSP is declared by the government every year before the sowing season to provide incentives to the farmers for raising the production of these crops.
(b) Buffer Stock:
Buffer stock is the stock of foodgrains, namely wheat and rice procured by the government through Food Corporation of India (FCI). This buffer stock is created in order to distribute foodgrains in the deficit areas and among the poorer strata of society at a price lower than the market price.
(c) Issue Price:
The foodgrains stored in granaries are distributed in the deficit areas and among the poorer strata of society at a price lower than the market price known as issue price.
(d) Fair Price Shops:
Fair price shops are ration shops that keep stock of foodgrains, sugar, kerosene oil for cooking. These items are sold to people at a price lower than market price. These are government sponsored shops.
Q11. What are the problems of the functioning of ration shops?
Ans. The following problems are there in the functioning of ration shops:
(i) The PDS dealers are sometimes found resorting to malpractices like diverting the grains to open market to get better margin, selling poor quality grains at ration shops, irregular opening of the shops etc.
(ii) It is common to find that ration shops regularly have unsold stocks of poor quality grains left.
(iii) When ration shops are unable to sell, a massive stock of foodgrains piles up with the FCI.
(iv) Sometimes these stored grains are rotten away.
12. Write a note on the role of cooperatives in providing food and related items.
Ans. The cooperatives are playing an important role in food security in India especially in the southern and western parts of the country. The cooperative societies set up shops to sell low-priced goods to poor people. For example, in Tamil Nadu around 94% fair price shops are being run by the cooperatives. In Delhi, Mother Dairy is making strides in provision of milk and vegetables to the consumers at controlled rate decided by Government of Delhi. Amul is another success story of cooperatives in milk and milk products from Gujarat. Many more cooperatives are running in different parts of the country to provide food and related items to different sections of society.