Indian National Food Security Bill: Challenges & Options

Despite ensuring ample availability of food, existence of food insecurity at the micro- level in the country has remained a formidable challenge for India. The recently introduced National Food Security Bill (NFSB) aims to address this and marks a paradigm shift in addressing the problem of food security—from the current welfare approach to a rights based approach. The central pivot of the Bill is large-scale subsidized grain distribution to almost two-thirds of the country’s population of 1.2 billion. This would perhaps be the biggest ever experiment in the world to distribute subsidized grain to achieve food and nutritional security. It implies a massive procurement of food grains and a very large distribution network entailing huge financial expenditure. The long-term feasibility of the envisaged strategy under NFSB needs to be carefully analyzed and debated in the national interest. It is imperative that a holistic approach is adopted while analyzing the entire system of food production, food procurement and distribution of food for achieving food security on sustainable basis.

Read the report: National Food Security Bill: Challenges & Options