Zhang-Yue Zhou1 and Guanghua Wan2
September 2006 Abstract A comparative study of the public distribution systems of foodgrains in India and China is expected to reveal lessons and experiences that are valuable to policymakers. This is particularly important for developing countries in their endeavour to ensure food security. This paper undertakes such an exercise. The main features and developments of the two public distribution systems are first highlighted. This is followed by a comparative analysis of their similarities and differences. The role of public foodgrain distribution systems in ensuring food security is then evaluated. Finally, policy implications are drawn. Keywords: public distribution system, food security, poverty, food subsidy, India, China JEL classification: I31, I38, Q11, Q18
Copyright © UNU-WIDER 2006
1 School of Business, James Cook University, Australia email: firstname.lastname@example.org; 2 UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, email: email@example.com
This paper was prepared for the UNU-WIDER project on Hunger and Food Security: New Challenges and New Opportunities, directed by Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). UNU-WIDER gratefully acknowledges the financial contributions to its research programme by the governments of Denmark (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Finland (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Norway (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Sweden (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency—Sida) and the United Kingdom (Department for International Development). ISSN 1810-2611 ISBN 92-9190-882-7 (internet version)
Acknowledgements We wish to thank the participants at the Jaipur workshop for their comments on the paper. In particular, we wish to thank Dr Benjamin Davis of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Professor S. S. Acharya of the Institute of Development Studies (Jaipur) for their constructive and helpful suggestions.
Acronyms APL BPL FCI PDS (families) above poverty line (families) below poverty line Food Corporation of India public distribution system
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization MSP minimum support price PL480 global food aid programme established by the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 into law as US Public Law 480, commonly known as PL480 TPDS targeted public distribution system (of India)
The World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) was established by the United Nations University (UNU) as its first research and training centre and started work in Helsinki, Finland in 1985. The Institute undertakes applied research and policy analysis on structural changes affecting the developing and transitional economies, provides a forum for the advocacy of policies leading to robust, equitable and environmentally sustainable growth, and promotes capacity strengthening and training in the field of economic and social policy making. Work is carried out by staff researchers and visiting scholars in Helsinki and through networks of collaborating scholars and institutions around the world. www.wider.unu.edu firstname.lastname@example.org
UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) Katajanokanlaituri 6 B, 00160 Helsinki, Finland Camera-ready typescript prepared by Liisa Roponen at UNU-WIDER The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s). Publication does not imply endorsement by the Institute or the United Nations University, nor by the programme/project sponsors, of any of the views expressed.
The issue of food security has been around for a long time and the right to adequate food and to be free from hunger have been repeatedly affirmed in...