Food Security in India Notes Class 9 Economics CBSE

Food Security Class 9 Economics Chapter Notes are given here. Notes are comprehensively written with proper sequential headings. These study-notes would help the class 9 CBSE students in revising chapter ‘Food Security’.

Food Security in India Notes Class 9 Economics

Food Security 


Food is among the basic essentials for a life to survive. Unfortunately, many people lack proper nutrition and even die of hunger and it is there that the terms like ‘Food Security’ come. Food security is the state when all the people at all times have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food necessary to maintain a healthy and active life.

Food Security: Food security means availability, accessibility and affordability of food to all people at all times.

Dimensions of Food Security

Food Security has following three dimensions – availability, accessibility and affordability.

(i) Availability of Food means food production within the country, imports and previous year’s stock stored in government granaries.

(ii) Accessibility means food is within reach of every person.

(iii) Affordability implies that an individual has enough money to buy sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet one’s dietary needs.

Ensuring Food Security

Food security is ensured in a country only if

  • enough food is available for all the persons.
  • all persons have the capacity to buy food of acceptable quality.
  • there is no barrier on access to food.

Why Need food security?  

The poorest sections of the society might be food insecure most of the times. Persons above the poverty line might also be food insecure when the country faces a national disaster/calamity like earthquake, drought, flood, tsunami or widespread failure of crops causing famine. (iii) Because the above two reasons there is need for food security.

How is Food Security Affected During a Calamity?

(i) Due to a natural calamity e.g., drought, total production of food grains decreases. It creates a shortage of food and the prices go up.

(ii) At the high prices some people cannot afford to buy food.

(iii) If such a calamity happens in a very wide area or is stretched over a long period of time it may cause a situation of starvation.


(i) A massive starvation might turn into a famine.

(ii) A famine is characterised by widespread deaths due to starvation and epidemics caused by forced use of contaminated water or decaying food and loss of body resistance due to weakening from starvation.

(iii) The most devastating famine that occurred in India was the FAMINE Of BANGAL in 1943. The famine killed 30 lakh people in the province of Bengal in British India.

(iv) Even today there are places like Kalahandi and Kashipur in Orissa where famine like conditions have been existing for many years and where some starvation deaths have also taken place.

(v) Therefore, food security is needed in a country to ensure food at all times.

Who are food insecure?  

A large number of individuals in India face food and nutrition insecurity. Apart from natural disasters, people with low social status and tribal people in remote areas also suffer from food security. Women and children of are the sizeable portion of food insecure.

  1. Rural Areas: The most vulnerable groups are landless people, traditional artisans, providers of traditional services, petty self-employed workers, and destitute including beggars. 
  2. Urban Areas: Food insecurity is found in urban areas because of low-wage employment and casual labour. 
  3. Food insecurity affects the SCs, STs, and lower caste OBCs who have a poor land base or very low land productivity. 
  4. The people affected by natural disasters, migrating to different areas in search of work, are also among the most food insecure people. 
  5. Pregnant women and nursing mothers, as well as children under the age of five, make up a sizeable proportion of the food insecure population. 
  6. Tribal and remote areas: The states of Uttar Pradesh (eastern and south-eastern parts), Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have large numbers of food insecure people in the country. 


It is another Achieving food security involves eliminating current hunger and reducing the risk of future hunger. 

Hunger is f two types or there two dimensions of hunger:

  • Chronic hunger is caused by diets that are consistently deficient in quantity and/or quality.  Poor people suffer from chronic hunger as a result of their poor income and inability to purchase even the food necessary for survival. 
  • Seasonal hunger is linked to food producing and harvesting seasons in rural areas, as well as seasonal employment of casual labourers in urban areas.  This is prevalent in rural areas because of seasonal nature of agricultural activities and in urban areas because of casual labour e.g., there is less work for casual construction labour during the rainy season.

The Green revolution for self-sufficiency

  • India has been aiming at self-sufficiency in food grains since the time of its independence. 
  • India implemented a new agricultural policy in the 1970s, which resulted in the ‘Green Revolution’, particularly in the production of wheat and rice. 
  • The highest rate of growth was achieved in Punjab and Haryana, where food grains production jumped from 7.23 million tonnes in 1964-65 to reach an all-time high of 30.33 million tonnes in 1995-96.
  • In 2015–16, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh had the highest rates of agricultural production with 44.01 and 30.21 million tonnes, respectively. 

Food Security System

Status of Food security in India 

Despite weather dependence of agriculture, India has reduced starvation since the Green Revolution. Because of the range of crops cultivated throughout the country, India has become self-sufficient in food grains over the past 30 years. 

The government has ensured the availability of food grains through a meticulously constructed food security system. 

Buffer stock, FCI and MSP 

The food security system is made up of two parts: (a) a buffer stock of food grains and (b) a public distribution system. 

  • Buffer stock is the government’s stock of food grains, specifically wheat and rice, obtained through the Food Corporation of India (FCI)
  • The FCI buys wheat and rice from farmers in areas where there is a surplus. 
  • Farmers are paid a predetermined price for their crops. 
  • This is known as the minimum support price (MSP)
  • Every year, before the sowing season, the government declares the MSP to allow farmers to plan their crop production. 
  • Food grains purchased are stored in government storehouses. The government maintains buffer stocks to distribute food grains in disadvantaged areas and to the poorer sections of society at a lower than market price, commonly known as the issue price. 

What is the public distribution system?  

  • The public distribution system (PDS) is the system by which food acquired by the FCI is distributed to the poorer sections of society through government-regulated ration shops. 
  • There are around 5.5 lakh ration shops spread across the country. 
  • They store and sell food grains, sugar, and kerosene. 
  • Every month, any family with a ration card can purchase a set number of commodities from a nearby ration shop (fair price shops)

Milestones in PDS history: 

Public Distribution System is the most important step taken by the Government of India (GOI) towards ensuring food security. Here is given a history of steps adopted to ensure food security in India.

  • 1940s: First introduced during the Bengal famine 
  • 1960s: Revived in the wake of acute food shortages prior to Green Revolution 
  • 1992: Revised in the form of Revamped Public Distribution System (RPDS) to reach the remote, poor and tribal populations of the country. 
  • 1997: Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) introduced to meet the food requirements of poor in all areas 
  • 2000: Two new schemes launched – Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Annapurna Scheme (APS) for the ‘poorest of the poor’ and ‘indigent senior citizens’ of India.  These two schemes target the ‘poorest of the poor’ and ‘indigent senior citizens’, respectively.

Merits of Public Distribution System

(i) The PDS has proved to be the most effective instrument over the years in stabilising prices and making food available to consumers at affordable prices.

(ii) It has been instrumental in avoiding widespread hunger and famine by supplying food from surplus regions of the country to the deficit ones.

(iii) The system, along with the minimum support price and procurement has contributed to an increase in food production and provided income security for farmers in certain regions.

Criticism of PDS 

Over the years, the PDS proved to be the most effective government policy, but it has been heavily criticised for various reasons such as: 

  • High levels of buffer stocks resulting in FCI Godowns overflowing with grains, with some rotting away and some being eaten by rats. 
  • High MSPs encouraging farmers to divert land from production of coarse grains, which is the staple food of the poor, to excessive production of wheat and rice. 
  • These crops make heavy use of inputs such as water, fertilisers and chemicals, leading to falling groundwater levels and pollution. 
  • This environmental degradation endangers the long-term viability of agriculture in these states. 
  • PDS dealers began engaging in corrupt practices. 
  • They started diverting grains to the open market for a higher profit, selling low-quality grains at ration shops providing poor service to the customers and so on. 
  • With three different TPDS pricing, households above the poverty line (APL) receive a very small discount at the ration shop. 
  • Because the price for APL families is about the same as the open market pricing, they have little motivation to purchase food grains from the ration shop. 

Role of Cooperatives in Food Security

The co-operatives are also playing an important role in food security in India especially in southern and western parts of India.

  • Cooperatives are vital to India’s food security, especially in the country’s south and west. 
  • Cooperative groups opened stores to provide low-cost goods to the underprivileged. 
  • Cooperatives run around 94 per cent of fair price shops in Tamil Nadu. 
  • Mother Dairy in Delhi provides milk and vegetables to consumers at a price set by the Delhi government. 
  • Gujarat’s Amul is credited with starting the country’s White Revolution of milk and milk products. 
  • The Academy of Development Science (ADS) in Maharashtra has helped NGOs establish grain banks in various areas. 

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