Steps to Improve Food Security and Quality Assurance

Steps to Improve Food Security and Quality Assurance

Question: Good governance is all about strengthening food security in the country and protecting the interests of the common man. Discuss the initiatives taken to make food-grain management more efficient in recent times and engage in quality assurance for the same.

- Quality norms for procurement have been relaxed to provide relief in the event of unseasonal rain and prevent distress sale

- Better support price for farmers in eastern states such as east UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam where poor procurement has poor outreach for farmers

- Farmers will experience improved MSP coverage and adoption of technology as well

- FCI is also working on a procurement plan for pulses and oilseeds to ensure MSP for farmers for both the crops

- Aim is to ensure payment of MSP to paddy farmers, millers levy on rice brought down to 25% during the season for kharif marketing and abolish it from 2015

- This improved delivery of MSP to farmers for paddy in areas where even situation of market prices is ruling below the MSP had farmers depend on millers for selling paddy

- To ensure that beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act are entitled to food grains , rules have been notified in the event of non delivery of the grains to the beneficiaries

- Centre has also made the decision to share 50%(75% in the event of hilly and difficult areas) of the cost of handling and transportation of grains incurred by the state and dealer’s margin so it does not get parcelled to the beneficiaries

- High level committee of experts has been set up for restructuring FCI to ensure efficient storage and strengthening of the food grain supply chain in the nation

- Depot Online system has been initiated and integrated security system is being set up in sensitive depots to modernise food grain storage in the nation, 20 lakh tonnes storage capacity is being set up through silos in the first place

- Committee of ministers has been set up under the Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution department which has not only decided the continuation of food grain allocation for other welfare schemes, but nutritional support through provision of milk, eggs etc under the scheme as well

- Stock of food grains has reached 343.15 lakh tonnes against minimum buffer of 210.40 lakh tonnes due to progressive procurement

- Additional storage capacity of 43,480 MT has been created in NE regions with funds to the tune of INR 76.85 crore

- CMs of major sugarcane growing states and reps convened to discuss measures for facilitating payment of sugarcane arrears

- Strengthening Quality Assurance Regime

- To strengthen the quality assurance regime for goods and services in the nation, amendment to the BIS Act was finalised

- Market surveillance for standards and testing of products were made more effective

- Simplified standards conformity schemes were launched so quality standards

- can be adopted with ease and standardised products are manufactured in the nation

- A new scheme has been rolled out for enabling the common consumer to get ISI marked products tested in BIS labs or recognised labs. Mobile app is being launched which will enable consumers to verify genuineness of BIS marked products

- Facilities have also been provided to engineering students for skill development

Facts and Stats

- The National Food Security Mission(2007-2015) aims to assure food security for Indians

- According to FAO, about 25% of the undernourished persons in the world live in India

- Global Hunger Index by the IFPRI has placed India 67th, well below neighbouring nations such as Nepal and Sri Lanka
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