Food security

Food security ensures when all people at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Food security has three important and closely related components, which are availability of food, access to food, and absorption of food. Food security is thus, a multi-dimensional concept and extends beyond the production, availability and demand for food. Ensuring food security is the basic goal of social justice, apart from development of adequate human resources.

Components of Food Security:

1) Production and procurement.
2) Storage
3) Distribution.

All these functions are performed through the PDS (Public Distribution System).

Food Security: Issues

Though, the functioning of PDS has ensured the availability of essent ial commodities to the people, the system is often blamed for:

• Lack of efficiency.
• Discrimination in Rural-urban service delivery.
• Many instances of corruption and black marketing, known as PDS leakages.
• Identification of poor by the states is not fool proof.
• A large number of poor and needy persons are left out.
• Lot of fake and shadow ration cards are available in the market.
• Fair Price Shop owner uses bogus Ration cards and sell the food grains in the open market.
• Many times, good quality food grains are replaced with poor quality food grains.
• Uneven distribution of food grains all over the country.

Practice question:

1. Which of the following statements related to NFSA provisions is/are correct?
1) The identification of beneficiaries will be done by States/UTs.
2) Under this eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above to be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration card
3) There is a provision for penalty on public servant in case of failure to comply with the relief recommended by the State Food Commission.


a) 1 and 2

b) 2 and 3

c) Only 2

d) All

Ans: a
Exp: Provision for penalty on public servant or authority, to be imposed by the State Food Commission, in case of failure to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer.