India’s Proposed Food Security Act Would Help But Not Solve Country’s Food Insecurity

In this Al Jazeera opinion piece, Stan Cox, a senior scientist at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, reports on a proposed Food Security Act in India and examines whether the measure could help solve the country’s food insecurity. He writes, “So-called public food distribution systems (PDS) have operated for years in dozens of countries around the globe,” and notes, “India’s PDS has been selling subsidized food through ‘fair price shops’ on a national basis since the 1970s.” He continues, “The Food Security Act would increase the amount of grain going through the system by more than 75 percent. That would raise the total to 66 million tons, or more than one third of India’s entire grain production.”

Cox details a number of changes to India’s PDS that would occur under the act, and writes, “The Food Security Act would go some way toward strengthening the faltering PDS — kind of like a repair job on an old ’86 Oldsmobile that’s a pain to drive but still runs.” He concludes, “Meanwhile, the only long-term solution, not just in India, but in every hungry country, is to build an agricultural economy that not only produces enough nutritious food for everyone, but also provides good work for all rural people and rewards them sufficiently in return” (1/26).

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