Food Security

Topics: Famine, Food security, Poverty Pages: 13 (4345 words) Published: August 26, 2013
INTRODUCTION
The term “Food Security” originated in 1960’s and 1970’s. Public interest in global and domestic food security grew between the years 1972-74. Food Security means that all the people at all times have physical, economic and adequate amount of nutrition required to them.Food Security is one of the major problems related to nutritional status. It also means that people who produce food are also able to earn a decent living, have good surroundings, well and a proper diet. A person is called as food secure when he has his proper diet and does not suffer starvation and hunger. The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing - “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. The term“Food Security”has evolved and expanded over time to integrate a wide range of food-related issues and to completely reflect the role of food in human’s life. The evolution of Food Security has led to change in human’s mind. In India where more than 1/3rd of the population is estimated to be food insecure and malnourished. There have been many emerging issues from the past 2 decades in the context of food security. These are:

1. Economic liberalization in 1990s and its impact on agriculture and food security.

2. Climate changes; crisis of the food prices, fuel prices and financial crisis.

3. ‘Right to Food’ campaigns for improving food security

4. Proposal for National Food Security Law

5. Mid-day Meal schemes

These development from the past 2 decades have proved to be both opportunities and challenges for food and nutrition society of India.

FOOD SECURITY MEANS -
* Availability
* Accessibility and
* Affordability of food to the people at all times.

FOOD SECURITY IS ENSURED ONLY IF -
* Enough Food is available for all the people
* All people have the capacity to buy food of acceptable quality * There is no barrier on access of food

NEED FOR FOOD SECURITY -
* For the poor section of the society
* Natural disaster or calamity like earthquake, flood etc. * Widespread crop failure due to drought

ISSUES ARISING IN SITUATION OF FOOD INSECURITY
1. STARVATION – If such calamity happens in a very widespread area or is stretched over a long time period, it may cause a situation of starvation.

2. FAMINE- A massive starvation might turn into a famine. A famine is characterized by massive deaths and widespread epidemics.

FAMINES AND STARVATION DEATHS IN INDIA
1. Great Famine Of South India- 1876-78. Killed 5.5 million people.

2. Indian Famine –1899-90. Killed 1.5million people.

3. Bengal famine- 1943- killed 2.5-3 million people.

4. The Bihar Famine- 1966-67 -2353 deaths due to starvation reported. These are some of the important Famines. India was struck by 12 Severe famines.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) - “food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Food security has three components, viz., availability, access and absorption (nutrition).”

EVOLUTION OF FOOD CRISIS
With the African famine of 1984-85, the increase in numbers of people looking for food assistance in developed nations, as reported by churches, community centers and soup kitchens, and the growing numbers of food banks in the United States (U.S.) and Canada, the literature on food security grew rapidly. The 2008 food crisis, which has seen dramatic increases in food prices and food shortages and had political turmoil in a number of countries, took the world by surprise.

EFFECTS OF 2008 FOOD CRISIS
Food prices of wheat, rice, corn have risen by 83% since 2005. Compared to the prices of 2007. Food prices in 2008 have risen more tremendously. 130% increase in wheat and...
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