Food security and Millennium Development Goals

Running a democracy with a billion people has never been easy, but people have always argued the working of the democracy, the UN millennium development goals state that by 2015, the world leaders have sworn to reduce hunger and extreme poverty by half, only two years now remain before the 2015 deadline to make substantial gains in education, health, social equity, environmental sustainability and international solidarity.

Without stronger commitment and more rapid progress, most of those goals will not be met. With a large hungry population in mind the Indian parliament has come with a solution to solve both Its problems eradicating hunger and vote bank politics (to stay in power). Has the food security bill come In to late or are the Indian politicians Just cashing In on the last bid to secure a majority In the parliament, keeping their own agendas In mind. I give the topic some light before It Is passed In the parliament. If each of the developing regions of the world continues to reduce hunger at the current pace, only Latin America and the Caribbean will reach the Millennium Development Goal (MEG) target of cutting the reapportion of hungry people by half. If efforts towards food security are redoubled and refocused, most of the MEG targets can still be reached. The UN report on Meg’s recognizes and tells us to act on two key points: 1. That reducing hunger is the most vital step towards achieving Meg’s achieving all of the other Megs will be difficult, if not impossible; and 2.

The focus should be on rural areas to reduce hunger, where majority of the poor population lives. 2 Background “Food security means the easy availability and access of food at all times in sufficient quantity in a safe and nutritious form to meet the dietary requirements and food references for an active, healthy and productive life. “3 In fact, for a nation to be economically and socially stable food security is the imperative condition for the economic and social stability of any nation.

To consider food security, it requires proper functioning agricultural markets and stable supply of food. 4 Patterns Affecting Food Security Poor people of third world countries are largely dependent on cultivation which Is most susceptible to climate change, Like In the case of seasonal monsoon In India. Food crops directly rely on the environment for growth and In the Instance of crop allure, there is a large scale loss of livelihood, and account for major economic use of natural resources directly results in the productivity of crops.

The effects are instantaneous on agric-based economies like India where it can lead to unrest and riots. 5 Let alone achieving the new development goals on food security, currently the World Food Summit 1996 goal of reducing the amount of hungry people 800,000,000 to by 2015. To make things worse, in the last 9 months the world prices have risen by 45 percent (UN MEG Report 2013). A positive step in Indian’s food security programmer is that we are now self sufficient in DOD, and have even started exporting food grains.

In accordance with being self sufficient the Indian government has initiated the recent 2007 National Food Security Mission with the primary goal of having good storage facilities in place so that the excess food supply does not rot. The mission aims to increase the production of rice by 10 million tones, wheat by 8 million tones and pulses by 2 million tones in five years by the end of 1 lath Five Year Plan (2011-2012). 6 The desired target cannot be difficult.

The reason being, the present day yields can be increased to potential yields with the help available technologies. Keeping in mind, this is a basic approach towards targets that can be attained by connecting this present yield-potential yield gap or yet by tightening it substantially. Nonetheless, for this reason, the 2007 National Food Security Mission will have to productively deal with the components which have reserved the production static for the last few years. The real challenges lies in identifying and fighting with these factors. In most places (including the agriculturally advances areas), the productivity and production of wheat and rice have revealed the trend to languish mainly because of he soil’s debility nature, excessive farming as in the states of Punjab and Harlan where the food crops are now regarded as cash crops but have taken a toll on the soil. The intensive farming practiced with the use of fertilizers, pesticide and extensive irrigation in these areas, without crop rotation and organic measures has deteriorated the soil making it uncultivated.

Also lack of replenishment of depleted plant nutrients, also natural nutrients, in particular the essential microinstructions, has debilitated the fertility of the agricultural land. Thus, to bring about a boost in the oiled, the UN Millennium Development Goals right based approach should be adopted. Insurance and government incentives should be brought in, as the farmers are regularly deprived of lucrative returns on their yields, therefore they generally find it complex to manage to pay for those expensive inputs. Henceforth for the next season the cash strapped farmers focus on old techniques using old seed, less use of technology and rendering lower yields. Even if small measures like crop rotation, timely plantation, if farmers are educated about tit can make a huge difference. Most of the five year plans have failed to engage the rammers in yield stagnation, that is why if the previous plans have failed, there is scope for improvement. 9 The 2007 National Food Security Mission has taken up inferior to the national average or that of the State.

It also suggests to have taken care of several areas of concern by including units plan aspects like timely imputes supply, integrated nutrient and pest management, promotion and supply of innovative technologies. 10 The 2007 National Food Security Mission on the whole has ‘functioned in 16 States (305 districts) with an overall 1 lath Five Year Plan expend of RSI. 4,882. Core. Of these, 12 States (133 districts) have been chosen for augmenting rice yields, 168 districts in 14 States for pulses and 138 districts in 9 States.

The participating States include Arioso, Gujarat, West Bengal, Shorthand, Assam, Chastiser, Briar, Karakas, Tamil Nadia, Restaurants, Madhya Pradesh, Harlan, Punjab and Attar Pradesh. ’11 The main difference in this approach is that it focuses on, state agencies rather than a central approach, the usual route for transfer of funds rather than direct transfer funds. Other than that it focuses on structuring a three-tier co- ordination for putting together a mixture of schemes and departments in relation to fertilizers, rural development, ‘Penchant’ Raja’ bodies and water resources.

In all regards, the Mission seems to be a significant measure in the trend of curtailing/reducing the existing yield-potential yield gap. The next step from the mission is the landmark Food Security Bill, the Congress-party led government believes, is Indian’s best shot at battling chronic malnutrition and hunger. 12 The Bill proposes to create food as a legal right. This Bill needs to be ratified by the parliament was passed by ordinance. The Bill aims to cover two-thirds of Indian’s population and supply subsidized food grain of gag for each person each month.

To service the scheme, India will need 60 million tones of food per year. The bill also proposes maternity benefits and free meals for pregnant women; children aged 6 months to 14 years, destitute and homeless people; lactating mothers and malnourished children. This sounds too good to be true for many critics, although a positive outlook. Basis (BBS), along with several critics debate that the scheme could offend the budget with subsidies on food doubling-up to a whopping El 5. 5 billion $23 billion). This will not definitely aid India, to slash its fiscal deficit to 4. % of GAP by 2012-2013 from a scratchy 5. 5% anticipated this fiscal year. 13 These critics frame Indian’s food security argument as one of a ‘subject of fiscal responsibility versus hungry people’. Keeping in momentum with development. Although there are many graver uncertainties over the scheme, which the writer concurs with many others have not been addressed. Many studies over the past few years have approximated that between 37% and 55% of the subsidized wheat and rice are unlawfully sidetracked from stores and sold in he market openly.

Using these stores to dispense more food implies more corruption and pilfering. 14 two classes of beneficiaries, who shall be acknowledged by the states and the federal government. Bambina Seen (an activist) submits that the practice of categorizing and would ultimately direct to corruption. 15 Then there’s the issue of the disorganized quality of food storage in India where food grains in millions are being wasted due to lack of storage facilities. Approximately, 60 million tones of food stocks are required by India to service the plan.

Basis states that “Indian’s actual food stocks could be ore than 90 million tones this year”. 16 In places where there is widespread hunger, one thing that is highly dreaded is that a lot of the food in open space and warehouses actually rots. Academicians and analysts argue that mainly because of government’s warped food policy: the government purchases food grain at irrationally high values (referred to as the “minimum support price”) from farmers which aid production, but reduces market’s demand owing to the overpriced value of food.

Dove submits that owing to this, the government is then compelled to purchase the difference to maintain the synthetically high prices. 17 The Guardian (one of the most leading paper in the world) comments that the bill was an “illustration of bog-standard populism” of the government in power with a vision on what promises to be a narrowly fought general elections in 2014. (BBC, Guardian) Many Indian states are now providing inexpensive food to the majority of their population, but still many of them persist to have soaring malnutrition rates.

Social protection Measures previous efforts by the Indian Government Public Distribution System (PDP) and Nutrition Programmer PDP and nutrition programmer can help in improving food security of households and nutrition. The Public Distribution System (PDP) is one of the instruments for improving food security at the household level in India. The Public Distribution System ensures availability of essential commodities like rice, wheat, edible oils, and kerosene to consumers through a network of outlets or fair price shops. These commodities are supplied at below market prices to consumers.

With a network of more than 28 462,000 fair price shops (FPS) distributing commodities worth more than RSI. 300 billion annually to about 160 million families, the Public Distribution System in India is possibly the biggest distribution network of its kind in the world. The Public Distribution System evolved as an important instrument of government policy for management of scarcity and for distribution of food grains at affordable prices. Supplemental in nature, the scheme is not intended to make available the entire requirements of food grains of the households. 8 Major Concerns about PDP The main problem with regard to PDP is its inability to reach the target groups in most parts of the country. PDP food grain purchase constituted only 11 per cent of the total per capita monthly food grains consumption in 2004-05. There 29 was marked regional disparity and although the impact of PDP on southern and north- Briar, Assam, U. P. ). 19 Nutrition Programmer ACIDS: The Integrated Child Development Services (ACIDS), launched in 1975, aims at the holistic development of children aged up to six years with a particular focus on children aged two years, besides expectant and nursing mothers.

This is done through a package of six services: health check-ups, immunization, referral services, supplementary feeding, non-formal pre-school education, and advice on health and nutrition. In spite of its expansion in the last three decades, the impact on child nutrition and protecting the rights of the children is quite limited. 20 Mid-day Meal Scheme The mid-day meal scheme (MEDS) has been revised and universality at the primary level from 1 September 2004. Recently, the MEDS has been extended to Upper Primary School from 1 October 2007.

MEDS was supposed to cover about 18 Core children by 21 There are problems with MEDS with regard to financial allocations and the quality of the scheme. The Sixth Report of the Commissioner appointed by the Supreme Court also points out inadequate infrastructure for mid- day meals. Of the sixteen states that sent data to the Commissioner in this regard, thirteen stated that less than 45 per cent schools have a separate kitchen. 22 ENRAGE By now it is well recognized that rural works programmer (Raps) have become important instruments in the strategies for alleviating poverty and hunger in many developing countries. 3 Enacting the National Employment Guarantee Act is one of the key electoral promises of the ruling coalition at the Centre under the Common Minimum Programmer (CPM). The Bill was passed by the Parliament in August 2005 and became the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (ENRAGE). This is a step towards legal enforcement of the Right to Work, as an aspect of the fundamental right to live with dignity. ENRAGE was notified in September 2005 with the target to cost livelihood security in village areas by providing a minimum of 100 days of definite wage employment to every household in each financial year.

Thus, employment creation being the chief objective. 24 The secondary objective is recreating a natural resource base and making productive assets. The third objective, which is a process objective is to reinforce grass root democracy inculcating insatiability, responsibility and transparency in governance. 25 It is the first time that a rights-based approach for employment has been introduced throughout India. This is the largest ever public employment programmer visualized in human history. Planning Commission report 2008) One of the most important requisites for this programmer is insatiability and transparency. Gram Kasbah’ carry out social audits of every work engaged within ‘Gram Penchant’. Verifying and scrutinizing the legitimacy of the entire procedure and records of the programmer and expenditure is part of social auditing. The performance of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NERVE) is uneven. The problems and challenges in areas where implementation and administration problems; (iii) monitoring and evaluation problems; and (v) lack of professionals and capacity building at various levels, articulacy at the ‘Penchant’ level.

However, most evaluations official and non- official show that implementation in the case of NERVE has been more effective than for any of its predecessor schemes. In particular, the leakages have been reduced significantly in many places. A significant increase in the agricultural wage is clearly indicative of the scheme’s success. In some places migration has reduced, providing much needed relief during the financial crisis, with the urban poor returning to rural areas. The 1 lath Five Year Plan indicates that NERVE is going to be one of the important programmer for poverty reduction in India.

NERVE has the potential to not only transform livelihoods of the poor, but also to revolutionist rural governance. NERVE provides a great opportunity to generate employment and create productive assets. If these can be linked to the overall development, there will be less need for such schemes in the future. If implemented effectively, NERVE will be the biggest social security programmer for nourished workers. 26 Despite inefficiencies, the contribution of social protection programmer to the observed reduction in rural poverty and as insurance for risk has been significant, even though their potential is much greater.

There are several lessons in social protection to be learnt from the Indian experience. These lessons will be useful for effective implementation of these programmer. 27 From Examination (Indian’s green revolution founding father) to Chandeliers (public intellectual ); and Saxons and Meander (Supreme Court Commissioners on food rights) are the key contributors to propose the approval of the Bill and sternly believe that it will be definitely a step forward for the country. Nonetheless, a law by itself is not fully functional. India ranks in the last 10 countries on infant mortality, child malnutrition and securing land rights.

This is owing to the drawbacks in legal frameworks, institutional failures and the deficit of strong political will and the frail surveying mechanisms of current programmer on public distribution. There has to be a state-led project, if the second green revolution in India is to add to a speedy deterioration of hunger, malnutrition and poverty. The natural-resource management programmer, state’s pricing policies, public distribution, legal entitlement system are the answers to getting to the most destitute. The food, nutrition and agriculture programmer are failing to tackle deep-seated discriminatory practices.

Stronger, reentrant monitoring by accountable state agencies is a must. 28 If food security is regarding believing in the future, then the mutual target should also be development in agriculture and food security which will give equal rights to men and women farmers on the land. 29 An absolute shutdown on any latest land acquisition is necessary pending a system of compensating and calculating environmental, economic and social costs is in place, especially regarding tribal communities, for whom the particularly uncertainty is the right to the land. The media should also introspect their responsibility on the issue as their role is crucial.

Basis rightly observes and the writer agrees that the most frequent or general festivals, restaurant reviews or dieting. 30 Lastly, India has to understand that any potential global climate policy must definitely have concrete domestic foundations, which will reflect the issues of the most destitute people (counting farmers and fishermen) in India as anywhere else. It can be rightly anticipated that the future will not be about the countries with guns but grains. The writer submits that there is enough food for all, but the thinking is not providing for the needs of the needy.