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Agriculture, food security and nutrition in Vidarbha: Household level analysis – A special article in EPW

By Amita Bhaduri, India Water Portal This special article in Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) is based on an assessment of agricultural practices and livelihoods of people in Vidarbha, one of the most distressed regions in India. Using the data generated from a baseline survey on a sample of 6,990 households covering six districts, this paper attempts to assess the relationships between agriculture, food security and nutrition for children, adolescents and married women of reproductive age. The study indicates that Overall under-nutrition amongst children, adolescents and married women in the study area is substantial and it does not differ significantly between different socio-economic groups. Severe under-nutrition amongst all the groups […]

Searching for our daily bread

If the word crisis is vastly overused, to speak of a global food crisis is, if anything, an understatement. The first signs of trouble appeared in 2000, when global grain stocks declined for the first time in several decades, but it was not until the spring of 2007 that the full gravity of what was occurring became clear. That year, the prices of the principal food staples — rice, corn, soybeans and wheat — effectively doubled. This was an |unprecedented rise, and it reversed more than 50 years of declining prices. The results were immediate and devastating: the number of hungry or chronically malnourished people rose by at least 100 […]

World produces enough food for the year 2050. The problem is access and distribution

Devender Sharma With the world population crosses 7 billion, feeding the teeming population is becoming a major concern. At times of diminishing land resources, and in an era of climate change, ensuring food security is the biggest challenge. All efforts are aimed at increasing food production. Somehow an impression has been created that the world needs to increase crop production manifold if it has to meet the food requirement for the year 2050. The global population would then be 9 billion. What is however deliberately being glossed over is that there is at present no shortage of food. It is not production, but access and distribution that need immediate attention. […]

Feeding with lies

Devinder Sharma When there is no additional storage space, how will more production of food grains help? Will it too not go waste? Although prime minister Manmohan Singh considers rising food inflation to be a sign of growing prosperity, the reality is very harsh and painful. Rising food inflation, which continues for the 4th successive year now, has hit the aam aadmi like never before. Adding fuel to fire is the periodic rise in petrol prices. For over four years now, at every media discussion that I am invited to, I am appalled at the economic ignorance that prevails. They go on harping again and again on what the textbooks […]

Much more needed to help the poor

The government stands accused of not only corruption but also Marie Antoinette-style insensitivity Jayati Ghosh Today is the “International Day for the Eradication of Poverty”, so it an appropriate day to note how necessary it still is to emphasise this concern among Indian policy makers. Sadly, lack of official awareness is evident in all sorts of recent policy measures, for example in the cynicism of increasing oil prices that feed into all other prices with cascading effects, even when inflation has already imposed huge burdens on living conditions of people especially the poor. But it is also evident in the medium term strategy of the Union government, as expressed in […]

Global Governance for World Food Security

Report by Nora McKeon about global governance for world food security, in which the (non)links between the CGIAR system and the UN system are mentioned. Many of the experiences in governance through the CFS (Committeee on World Food Security) would be relevant also for agricultural research with a view to food security. Global-Governance-for-World-Food-Security

Deeper into the food crisis: How they play with our food

PANAP report on on Food speculation and crisisTurningPoint_FoodSpeculation

Population has bigger effect than climate change on crop yields, study suggests

Bernard Appiah 4 October 2011 | EN Climate change and population hike might mean smaller maize yields in the future Flickr/IITA Image Library Population pressure will be as significant a factor as climate change in reducing crop yields — and thus increasing food insecurity — in West Africa, according to a modelling study. The authors inserted different climate change, land use, and demographic change scenarios, into an internationally validated model to estimate maize yields in Benin from 2021–2050. They found that, as the population increases, farmers frequently cultivate cropland without allowing adequate resting periods for the soil to regain its fertility — thus reducing crop yields. Overall, they found that various land use scenarios […]

Food, Hunger and Ethics

Author: Srijit Mishra Management of hunger has to look into issues of availability, accessibility and adequacy. Posing it from an ethical perspective the paper argues out in favour of right to food. But, for this to happen, the state has to come up with an appropriate and effective bill on food and nutrition security, address the issue of inadequate provisioning of storage space by state agencies leading to rotting of food grains – a criminal waste when people are dying of hunger, and rely on a bottom-up approach involving the community that complements the top-down administrative structure to identify poor and reduce both exclusion and inclusion errors in targeting. Key […]

Move for a hunger-free India

By M S Swaminathan, September 28 2011 http://www.mydigitalfc.com/op-ed/move-hunger-free-india-844 The National Food Security Bill 2011, which is now on the website http://fcamin.nic.in/dfpd_html/Draft_National_Food_Security_Bill.pdf / of the Uni­on ministry of food and consumer affairs for public comments, aims to make the right to food a legal right. When finally enacted, the Food Security Bill will be the brightest jewel in the crown of Indian democracy. Therefore, public scrutiny of the draft bill is important. The draft bill mentions that its aim is “to provide for food and nutritional security in human life-cycle approach by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices, for people to live a life with dignity”. Unfortunately, the bill […]

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