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Food Security

With nearly 195 million undernourished people, India shares a quarter of the global hunger burden. Nearly 47 million or 4 out of 10 children in India are not meeting their full human potential because of chronic under nutrition or stunting. Stunting has consequences such as diminished learning capacity, poor school performance, reduced earnings and increased risks of chronic diseases. The impacts are multi-generational as malnourished girls and women often give birth to low birth-weight infants. There has also been an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents in India, which has life-long consequences of non-communicable diseases in adulthood.

The government has large food security and anti-poverty programmes but there are critical gaps in terms of inclusion and exclusion errors. Women and girls are particularly disadvantaged. Despite the achievement of national food self-sufficiency, new challenges have emerged: Slowing agriculture growth, climate change, land degradation and shrinking bio-diversity. Large tracts of farmlands in India have become barren due to imbalanced fertiliser use and excessive use of a single fertiliser, urea.

With a five-fold increase in food grain production from 50 million tonnes in 1950-51 to about 250 million tonnes in 2014-15, India has moved away from dependence on food aid to become a net food exporter. In 2016, the government launched a number of programmes to double farmers’ incomes by 2022. These seek to remove bottlenecks for greater agricultural productivity, especially in rain-fed areas. They include: the National Food Security Mission, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), the Integrated Schemes on Oilseeds, Pulses, Palm oil and Maize (ISOPOM), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, the e-marketplace, as well as a massive irrigation and soil and water harvesting programme to increase the country’s gross irrigated area from 90 million hectares to 103 million hectares by 2017.

The government has also taken significant steps to combat under- and malnutrition over the past two decades, such as through the introduction of mid-day meals at schools, anganwadi systems to provide rations to pregnant and lactating mothers, and subsidised grain for those living below the poverty line through a public distribution system. The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, aims to ensure food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable through its associated schemes and programmes, making access to food a legal right.

BREDS, Working more than three decades in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha with the   Tribal population,   Rural and Urban community introducing various community developmental programmes,  remarkably Nutrition garden,  Kitchen Garden, promotion of organic farming, sustainable production practices, adoption of drought proof farming activities and protection of soil health and water bodies to address Food security community in larger level and doubling the farmers income by 2022. Also, to address  food security of  unorganised  sector  BREDS extended its support and  working with 7500 families in Urban area of Visakhapatnam covering Street vendors, Domestic Workers ,Building and construction workers with special emphasis on development of women and children .

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