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Food security UPSC

What is food security? 

As per the United Nations food and agriculture organization, food security means the availability of sufficient food, food accessibility, and affordability of food for all the population all over the year.

There are three main pillars of food security:
food security
food security



What causes food insecurity?

food crisis
food crisis


The following are the reasons for food & nutrition insecurity.


  • Lack of food production due to:
    • Decline the productive areas of cultivation
    • Soil erosion
    • Desertification
    • conversion of agricultural land to non-farm uses such as grassland, industries, settlements, etc.
    • Decline the area under irrigation
  • Growing of non-vegetarianism: Meat production also causes the food crisis because more than 500 million tons of food grains are used for animal feeding yearly.
  • Food diversification to biodiesel & biofuels production
  • Problems in food distribution due to civil war, conflicts, etc.
  • lack of purchasing power of people
  • Protection and subsidization of agriculture of the developed countries.


How to ensure food security:

  • Distribution side measures:
    • Sufficient food production at the global level
    • If sufficient food is not available at the domestic level then timely import is needed.
    • A proper supply & distribution network of food at the local level is needed
  • Production side measure:
    • Increase productivity
  • Control the population
  • Avoid the food wastage
  • Alternative sources of food from plants may explore that are not yet explored.
 Alarming food security problems in the world; 


  • At present the following are the region which facing food shortages:
  • Central African regions such as Sudan,
  • Disturbed countries like Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, and Syria.

What is the Indian situation on food & nutrition security?
Despite sufficient food production and food availability in India, India is facing both Nutritional and food security problems because of  mainly food supply-side problems:


  • Unequal distribution of the food
  • Lack of purchasing power of people
  • Foods are not fulfilling properly balanced nutrients
  • Corruption in the PDS system

The following measurements need to be done in India:


  • Efficient implementation of the PDS system needed
  • To increase in purchasing power of people
  • Fortification and diversification of food are needed; in order to provide nutritional security.
  • Awareness about the importance of nutritional & balance food is also needed.
Try to solve the following questions:
  • Examine the ongoing process of agricultural diversification and its implications for food security in India. (UPSC 2018, 250 words, 20 marks)
  • Give an account of food security issues in developing countries. (UPSC 2014, 150 words, 10 marks)
  • "Climate change is a serious problem to global food security and poverty eradication". Critically examine. (UPSC 2022, 20 marks)

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