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Chapter 4 – Food Security in India Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 :
A section of people in India is still without food. Explain.

Answer 1 :

A section of the people is insecure during a few months when they remain unemployed because of the seasonal nature of agricultural work. They are engaged in seasonal activities and are paid very low wages that just ensure bare survival. At times it so happens that they have to stay without food.

Question 2 :
What has our government done to provide food security to the poor? Discuss any two schemes launched by the government.

Answer 2 :

The government has designed the food security system carefully to ensure the availability of food to all sections of society. The system is composed of two componfents, i.e.,

 Buffer Stock
Public Distribution System (PDS)
In addition to the above, the government has launched several Poverty Alleviation Programmes (PAPs) that comprise a component of food security. Some of these programmes are Mid-day Meals, Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), and Food For Work (FFW).

The two schemes launched by the government in this direction are:

  1. Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY). This scheme was launched in December 2000. Under this scheme, one crore of the poorer among the BPL families, to be covered by the Public Distribution System, were identified. Twenty-five kilograms of food grains were made available to each of the – eligible families at a highly subsidized rate. After about two years, the quantity was enhanced from twenty-five kg to thirty-five kg. In June 2003 and August 2004, an additional fifty lakh families were added to this scheme twice. In this way, about two crore families have been brought under the AAY.
  2. Annapurna Scheme (APS). It was launched in 2,000 with a special target group of ‘indigent senior citizens’. The functioning of the scheme was linked with the existing network of the PDS. Under this scheme, 10 kg of food grains were made available to them free of cost.

Question 3 :
Why buffer stock is created by the government?

Answer 3 :

Buffer stock is created by the government to ensure the availability of food to all the sections of society. It helps to resolve the problem of shortage of food during adverse weather conditions or during periods of calamity.

Question 4 :
Write notes on:
(a) Minimum Support Price
(b) Buffer Stock
(c) Issue Price
(d) Fair Price Shops

Answer 4 :

(a) Minimum Support Price. This is the pre-announced price at which the government purchases food grains particularly, wheat and rice, from the farmers to create a buffer stock. This price is announced by the government every year before the sowing season as an incentive to the farmers to raise the production of the desired crop. The rising MSPs have raised the maintenance cost of procuring food grains by the government as well as induced farmers to divert land from the production of coarse grains to the production of these crops.
(b) Buffer Stock. It is the stock of food grains, particularly wheat and rice, which the government procures through the Food Corporation of India (FCI). The FCI purchases these cereals directly from the farmers of those states where they are in surplus. The price of these commodities are announced much before the actual sowing season of these crops. The food grains thus purchased by the FCI are kept in big granaries and called ‘Buffer Stock’.

(c) Issue Price. In order to help the poor strata of the society, the government provides them food grains from the buffer stock at a price much lower than the market price. This subsidised price is known as the ‘Issue Price’.

(d) Fair Price Shops. The food grains procured by the government through the Food Corporation of India are distributed among the poorer sections of the society through ration shops. These are called ‘Fair Price Shops’ because food grains are supplied to the poor through these shops at a price lower than the market price, which is often high.


Question 5 :
Write a note on the role of co-operatives in providing food and related items.

Answer 5 :

The cooperatives are also playing an important role in food security in India especially in the southern and western parts of the country. The cooperative societies set up shops to sell low priced goods to poor people. For example, out of all fair price shops running in Tamil Nadu, around 94 percent are being run by the cooperatives.



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