“India’s Food Challenges: Solutions Ahead”


The food crisis in India is a complex and multifaceted issue that has many causes and effects.

Some of the possible reasons for the food crisis are: –

1:Population growth-

By 2023, India will have the second-largest population in the world, with a projected 1.4 billion inhabitants. This significantly strains both the supply and demand for food as well as the energy, water, and natural resources required for food production.

2:-Climate change-

India is quite susceptible to the negative effects of climate change, including increased temperatures, unpredictable rainfall, droughts, floods, cyclones, and insect infestations. The livelihoods of millions of farmers and rural people are impacted, as well as agricultural yields, food quality, and availability.

3:- Economic shock-

India’s economic woes since 2020, compounded by COVID-19 and global issues like the Ukraine war, have caused income drops, job loss, inflation, and poverty, impacting access to nutritious food, especially for urban poor and migrant workers.

4:-Food wastage-

India, a major food producer, wastes 67 million tonnes yearly, akin to Punjab’s production, due to infrastructure, storage, and consumer issues. This exacerbates food insecurity and environmental harm.

5:-Policy issues-

India’s food security programs (NFSA, PDS, MDMS, ICDS) face challenges in implementation, coverage, quality, and transparency, with issues of grain theft and corruption. Some regulations, like the 2023 rice export ban, can unintentionally affect domestic supply and prices.


India faces soaring inflation, particularly in food prices, with a 11.51% YoY increase in July 2023. This surge affects affordability due to elevated costs of inputs and currency devaluation.

7:-Supply chain inefficiencies-

India produces enough food, but weak supply chains result in a 40% annual loss. Inadequate cooling, storage, and middlemen charging excessive fees compound food distribution issues.

8:-Export bans-

India, the top non-basmati white rice exporter, banned exports in July 2023 for domestic price control and food security, causing global impacts. Despite challenges, India aids Afghanistan and boosts agriculture and food security.

Some scheme include:

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY):

This is a crop insurance scheme that provides coverage to farmers against natural calamities, pests, diseases, and post-harvest losses. – Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN): This is a direct income support scheme that provides Rs 6,000 per year to small and marginal farmers who own up to two hectares of land.

National Food Security Act (NFSA):

This is a legal entitlement that guarantees subsidized food grains to about 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).

National Agriculture Market (e-NAM)

This is an online platform that connects farmers with buyers across different states and markets, enabling them to sell their produce at competitive prices without intermediaries.

Some of the possible solutions to address this crisis are: –

1:-Enhancing food production and productivity

To advance agriculture, India must use technology, improve irrigation, manage soil, diversify crops, reduce post-harvest losses, and support organic farming. Sharing green revolution knowledge benefits the food security of Asia and Africa.

2:-Improving food distribution and access-

Food must be delivered to the hungry and defenseless in India. Accessibility for the disadvantaged depends on the PDS being strengthened, the NFSA being increased, corruption being eradicated, storage and transportation being improved, and local food banks being supported.

3:-Enhancing food affordability and availability:

In order to maintain stable, reasonable food prices during crises, India should control markets, abolish export restrictions, provide subsidies to farmers and consumers, apply price stabilization measures, and build buffer stockpiles.

4:-Improving food quality and nutrition-

Food consumption must be prioritized in India as being secure, nourishing, and varied. To improve food quality and population nutrition, enforce safety standards, encourage dietary variety, fortify staples, execute nutrition initiatives, and address micronutrient deficiencies.

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