An Introduction to Food Security

Whenever we talk about the three basic needs any human is entitled to, we generally tend to put more emphasis on the aspect of food and water, followed by shelter and clothes. What if one is not able to access the first of these three basic needs for sustenance? How do they survive? Keeping these questions in mind, any functional society ought to provide the security of food to its individuals. This is what is known as Food Security. It refers to the provision of food to all individuals regardless of their social backgrounds. 

Food Security Meaning

From its definition, food security can be considered a basic and omnipresent feature of any society. Any given society is driven by the efforts of its individuals, and therefore, food security is an absolute necessity for the society’s sustenance. However, the practice of food security is also driven by the economic order a society tends to follow.

The economic characteristic of food security is that it largely depends on an individual’s income. A person whose income satisfies all of his necessities in day-to-day life without any disruption will naturally experience larger accessibility of food and security than those who suffer to make ends meet. Therefore, it can easily be stated that the distribution of food security and nutrition among individuals in a country varies according to their economic statuses.  

Agriculture and Food Security

Since food security is largely dependent on the agricultural practices of a country, it is important that agricultural practices are taken care of in the first place. Therefore, the program of Agriculture and Food Security exists to support agricultural production for farmers. This is one of the Food Security programs that exist to support agricultural enhancements by offering innovative ways of production to farmers across the globe. 

Since malnutrition is one of the major problems that result from economic equalities among societies, this program under the practice of Global Food Security is meant to improve the nutrition of those who are affected. Therefore, the primary food security mission it follows is to support small farmers across the globe to offer them more beneficial ways of agricultural production to improve their nutrition along with their incomes. 

The government of India has also launched a similar programme to improve the provision of food and security to farmers of India. It is known as the National Food Security Mission, launched in 2007. The purpose and objective of this programme are similar to that of agriculture and food security.

Factors Affecting Food Security

The food security of many people across countries is affected due to several factors, along with differences in economic standards. These factors are directly in control of the type and the quantity of food produced. These factors are:

  • Climate Change and Global Warming

  • Scarcity of land for farming

  • Technological barriers

  • Inadequate supply of water for irrigation

  • Poverty

Therefore, due to these factors, the aspect of food security gets affected in several countries, like India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, etc. As a result of these factors, several disruptions take place. One such disruption is called Food Insecurity. 

Food Insecurity Meaning

Food Insecurity, as the name suggests, is a disruption in the security of food and health among people. Food Insecurity exists whenever the eating patterns and food intake among individuals result in negative and harmful outcomes. As stated earlier, food security among individuals is largely dependent on their economic statuses. Likewise, one of the main causes of food insecurity among people is also related to their economic standards.

The aspect of unemployment among societies can be considered the key economic cause for food insecurity. Due to lack of money and other resources, several people cannot afford meals for survival. This is especially evident in developing countries like India where a significant portion of the population is poverty-stricken. Since they lack food security, they are often malnourished and live a dysfunctional lifestyle. That brings us to the effects of food insecurity among people.

Due to the growing population, food insecurity is becoming more prevalent among people of the world. As a result, the effects of food insecurity are preventing countries from maintaining proper socio-economic order. One of the major effects of food insecurity lies with the health of impoverished children. Malnutrition is a common sight among these children which leads to diseases such as anaemia and increases levels of aggression and anxiety.

Did You Know?

  • The Global Food Security Index ranks 113 countries according to their annual provision of security in terms of food and nutrition. 

  • October 16 is celebrated as the World Food Security Day.

  • India’s food security site. It provides all the information regarding the implementation of NFSA 2013. 

Talking about food security, it is an extension of one of the basic rights stated in the Indian Constitution. Food security is integral to human rights in any nation. So, it should be ensured by the government with the utmost importance. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Write in Brief about India’s Green Revolution.

The Green Revolution of India was led by M.S. Swaminathan after India’s independence. It was a massively successful initiative which helped the economy and agricultural production of India in many ways. Through the initiative of the Green revolution, newer and more advanced agricultural practices began in India. After years of British rule, the economy of India reached a new low and through this revolution, the economy strengthened by a large scale. It helped Indian farmers to grow their own crops for selling and consumption instead of being dependent on foreign exports. Therefore, this revolution brought about massive agricultural changes and improvements.

2. How Do Pesticides Damage the Environment?

Although pesticides are great for the protection of crops and vegetables from pests and insects, pesticides are often harmful to the environment. Since pesticides contain chemicals to kill pests and bugs on crops, the chemicals are harmful to human health. Therefore, whenever these pesticides get washed down by the rain, they pollute the water bodies such as rivers, lakes and ponds. As a result, marine life gets affected due to these pollutants which often enter human bodies due to consumption of fish and other aquatic beings. Pesticides also kill useful insects under the soil which are beneficial for agricultural practices.