National Food Security Act, 2013

The largest food security program in the world. Provides for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity. It ensures legal food entitlement to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population. A welcome step and will reduce hunger and malnutrition.

An Overview:

  • Food security Act, covers nearly 2/3rd of the population @Rs. 2/Kg (wheat), @Rs. 3/kg (rice) and @Re.1/kg (jowar).
  • Poorest of the poor continue to get 35kg per household under Annapurna Anthyodaya Yojana (AAY)
  • Computerization of all godowns and real time monitoring.
  • Eligible households to be identified by the states.
  • Special focus on nutritional support to women and children.
    • Food Security Act has provision of free nutritious meals to children and pregnant and lactating women which give a paradigm shift in imparting nutrition security.
    • Food Security Act also makes provisions for pregnant women and lactating women to get nutritious meals and maternity benefit of at least Rs.6000 for six months.
  • Women empowerment – Eldest woman will be the head of the household.
  • States to get assistance for Inter – State transportation
  • Grievance redressal mechanism to district and state levels.
  • Social audits and vigilance committees to ensure transparency.
  • Food grain damage reduces from 2.5% to 0.07%.
  • Huge additional allocation of food grains from APL to BPL.
  • Well planned export policy ensuring better returns for farmers, balanced domestic prices.
  • 150 lakh metric ton storage facilities planned through PPP model.
  • Warehouse receipt as negotiable instrument for better resource mobilization of farmers.
  • The Food Security Act also stresses on revitalization of agriculture and food production and universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
  • The Act is expected to seal leakages in the food delivery system through technological and administrative interventions, such as, use of ‘Aadhaar Card’ and setting up of new accountability, transparency and grievance redressal mechanism.
  • The coarse cereals are rich in minerals especially micronutrients and would help to reduce the micronutrients deficiency (hidden hunger) in the targeted populace.

The successful implementation of the National Food Security Act by the government agencies will leave more savings in the hands of rural and urban BPL households, enabling them to spend on education, nutritious food and health and ultimately to overcome the problem of malnutrition from the targeted population in India.

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