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Chapter: 11th 12th std standard Indian Economy Economic status Higher secondary school College

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Food policy of Government of India

Food policy of Government of India Soon after independence, the government took the problem of shortage of food grains seriously. Several important measures have been taken by government to solve this problem.

Food policy of Government of India Soon after independence, the government took the problem of shortage of food grains seriously. Several important measures have been taken by government to solve this problem. These measures may be enumerated as follows:
 

Increase in Production of Foodgrains

 
Agricultural development has been accorded top priority in almost all the Five Year Plans. Several programmes have been launched to increase agricultural production and productivity such as intensive farming, multi - crop programme, development of high yielding varieties of seeds, intensive use of fertilizers. As a result of these efforts, production of foodgrains has increased from 50.8 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 192.4 million tonnes in 1997-98.

 Import of Foodgrains

 
To meet the shortage of foodgrains, the government has been importing food grains from time to time. 48 lakh tonnes of food grains were imported in 1951 which increased to 103 lakh tonnes in 1966. During 4 years 1991,1992,1995 and 1996, the imports have been almost nil.
 

Procurement of foodgrains

 
Government adopted the system of procurement of food grains. Under the system, government procures foodgrains from market every year. For this purpose, procurement prices or minimum support prices are announced by government every year for all the important foodgrains and all the government purchases are made at these prices. It helps in protecting farmers against the malpractices of traders and commission agents.
 

Public Distribution of Food grains

 
Government adopted public distribution system to ensure fair distribution of food grains at controlled prices. Under the system, fair price shops are opened. Each such shop is envisaged to serve a population of about 2000. As on 31st March, 1998, there were about 4.50 lakh fair price shops (Ration shops) in the country. These shops supply rice, wheat, sugar, edible oils and kerosene to people in certain quantity at controlled prices.
 

Buffer Stock Scheme

 
Government started a scheme of maintaining buffer stock of important food grains to ensure their regular supply throughout the year. Whenever there is a rise in their prices, government releases them from buffer stock to stabilise prices. Buffer stock operations are normal these days and they have become a normal part of the food policy of Government of India.
 

Establishment of Specific Institutions

 
A number of specific institutions have been established by government to promote agricultural production and productivity and to ensure regular supply and fair distribution of food grains. Important institutions are: National Seeds Corporation, Agro-industries Corporation, Agricultural Prices Commission, Food Corporation of India, Fertilizer Corporation of India, etc.
 

Agricultural Research & Development

 

Government is taking serious steps to promote agricultural research and development. A number of agricultural universities and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have been established to undertake research activities.


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