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Introduction To Food Access

Food access is a goal that needs to be pursued in order to ensure food and nutritional security. Year after year, decade after decade, targets for achieving food access must be set. To ensure that these accesses are maintained indefinitely, short- and long-term measures must be taken.

At the moment, three key food access points have been identified.

Physical Accessibility

Physical access requires producing enough food to feed the entire country. It entails producing enough food to feed humanity on a global scale. This was seen as the primary goal in the Indian context between the 1940s and the 1980s.

Given that India was relatively self-sufficient in food by the end of the 1980s, physical access was more or less achieved with the Green Revolution.

Financial Resources

Economic access requires ensuring that nutrition remains affordable to even the most impoverished members of society. At first, it was assumed that obtaining physical access automatically entailed obtaining economic access.

Green Revolution: Despite large buffer stocks and the success of the Green Revolution, the Supreme Court of India decided to intervene following a petition filed by the People's Union for Civil Liberties alleging that a large segment of society was deprived of food despite large buffer stocks and the Green Revolution's success.

Physical access does not imply economic access, as evidenced by the fact that India was the seventh-largest exporter of wheat in 2002, despite the fact that Indians suffered from hunger and malnutrition in the past and continue to do so.

Nitrogen Fertilizers: Farmers attempted in vain to boost productivity by overusing nitrogen fertilisers when yields declined due to soil micronutrient deficiency. The government intervened by increasing subsidies to compensate for the increased costs of production.

However, this strategy is unsustainable. Additionally, increased subsidies resulted in decreased infrastructure investment. These infrastructural flaws result in increased costs and decreased economic access.

Additionally, infrastructure deficiencies, such as a lack of an adequate transportation network and cold storage, resulting in waste, ultimately obstructing physical access.

Various Schemes

Creating gainful employment, convergent schemes such as MGNREGA that boost consumers' purchasing power while also lowering production costs due to infrastructure investments, and schemes such as NRLM that boost rural consumers' purchasing power are just some of the ways India has attempted to achieve economic access.

Environmental Access

Solving the food problem solely through production and distribution is fundamentally flawed because it ignores agriculture's environmental costs. Numerous resources, including land, groundwater, and biodiversity, are impacted by extensive agriculture.

To ensure that all three access points are established, India requires a second 'green' Green Revolution!

'Green' is denoted eco-friendly in this instance.


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