Food Security, Land Acquisition and Agrarian Politics in India
By Globus Press
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Food availability is a necessary condition for food security. India is more or less self sufficient in cereals but deficit in pulses and oilseeds. Due to changes in consumption patterns, demand for fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry, and fisheries has been increasing. There is need to increase crop diversification and improve allied activities. It may be noted that the slowdown in agriculture growth could be attributed to structural factors on the supply side, such as public investment, credit, technology, land and water management, etc., rather than globalization and trade reforms per se. Access to food can be increased through employment due to growth in labour intensive sectors and/or through social protection programmes. The performance of the overall agriculture sector and the factors responsible for the slowdown provide an explanation for the decline in the growth of food production. It may be noted that foodgrains, pulses, oilseeds, sugar, fruits and vegetables, poultry, dairy, meat, fish, etc. constitute the bulk of the output in the agriculture sector. The performance of agriculture is important for availability and access to food as more than 55 per cent people in the country are dependent on this sector. Agricultural growth in India was high from the Fifth Plan period to the Ninth Plan period â highest being in the Sixth Plan period, at around 5.7 per cent. If we consider longer periods, growth of agriculture decelerated from 3.5 per cent between 1981-82 and 1996-97 to around 2 per cent between 1997-98 and 2004-05, although there have been signs of improvement in recent years. There are both short run and long run problems in Agriculture. Farmersâ suicides continue unabated, even increasing in some states, as growth rate in yield is on the decline. Farming is fast becoming a non-viable activity. Further scope for increase in net sown area is limited. Land degradation in the form of depletion of soil fertility, erosion, and water logging has increased. This book will be of indispensable help to students of this course both at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.