Asian Journal of Dairy and Food Research, volume 40 issue 4 (december 2021) : 398-407

Saga of Hunger in India- Challenges, Chances and Resolutions: A Review

Zahoor A. Pampori
1Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology-Kashmir, Srinagar-190 006, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
Cite article:- Pampori A. Zahoor (2021). Saga of Hunger in India- Challenges, Chances and Resolutions: A Review. Asian Journal of Dairy and Food Research. 40(4): 398-407. doi: 10.18805/ajdfr.R-2183.
India became independent in 1947, when it was still reeling from the impact of the 1943 Bengal famine and world as a whole was experiencing the brunt of world war second. Thus India was born hungry in a hungry world. The country leaders were well aware of the challenge that India was expected to face in terms of food security and it was Jawaharlal Nehru who said everything can wait but not agriculture. The first president of India Rajendra Prasad after taking the chair, the first thing he did was to hoist the flag at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, declaring “India’s most pressing task would be to conquer the battle of hunger. The Indian population has increased tremendously from 376 million in 1950 to 1380 million in 2020 and it is agriculture and its allied sectors that sustained such a huge population. India still has a significant proportion of population 14% undernourished, 35% children stunted, 20% children underweight, 52% women of reproductive age anaemic. India could bring out green revolution, white revolution and blue revolution in order to provide food security to its people. India presently is not food deficient; it has attained self sufficiency in food production and stands exporters of food. However the irony is that India stands at place 102 in global hunger index with score of 30 that is a matter of concern (Global Hunger Index-GHI, 2019). The problem is in making this food available to the people or access to the food is ensured. India needs nutritional security rather than food security besides transformation in agriculture and allied sectors to become free from hunger. The task is tough and precipitated by Covid-19 pandemic, but not impossible. India has much strength but will need research, extension, implementation and policy framing to have sustainable, nutrition sensitive, climate resilient, integrated and smart agriculture to eliminate hunger.

  1. Akinnifesi, F.K., Leakey, R.R.B., Ajayi, O.C., Sileshi, G., Tchoundjeu, Z., Matakala, P. and Appu, P.S. (1996). Land Reforms in India: A Survey of Policy, Legislation and Implementation. Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi.

  2. Appu, P.S. (1996). Land Reforms in India: A Survey of Policy, Legislation and Implementation.

  3. Balarajan, Y., Selvaraj, S. and Subramanian, S.V. (2011). Health care and equity in India. The Lancet. 377: 9764.   

  4. Basu K. and Annemie M. (2008). The Oxford Companion to Economics in India.

  5. Bellows, A.C., Lemke, S., Jenderedjian, A. and Scherbaum, V. (2015). Violence as an unrecognized barrier to women’s realization of their right to adequate food and nutrition: Case studies from Georgia and South Africa. Violence Against Women. 21: 1194-1217.

  6. Besley, T. and Burgess, R. (2000). Land Reform, Poverty Reduction and Growth: Evidence from India. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 115: 389-430.

  7. Chatterjee, K., Sinha, R.K., Kundu, A.K., Shankar, D., Gope, R., Nair, N. and Tripathy, P.K. (2016). Social determinants of inequities in under-nutrition (weight-for-age) among under-5 children: A cross sectional study in Gumla District of Jharkhand, India. International Journal for Equity in Health. 15: 104. 

  8. Chilton, M. M., Rabinowich, J. R. and Woolf, N. H. (2013). Very low food security in the USA islinked with exposure to violence. Public Health Nutrition. 17: 73-82. 

  9. FAO. (2020). India at a Glance. 20world’s%20largest,poultry%2C%20livestock%20 and %20plantation%20crops. 

  10. FAO. (2017). The Future of Food and Agriculture, Trends and Challenges. Rome, 2017. 

  11. FAO. (2015).  Natural Capital Impacts in Agriculture. FAO.Rome 

  12. FAO. (2014b). Developing sustainable food value chains- Guiding principles. FAO.Rome 

  13. FAO. (2012a). Neglected crops need a rethink- can help world face the food security challenges of the future. ( /166368/icode/).

  14. Global Hunger Index (GHI, 2019). https://www.Globalhungerindex .org.       

  15. Gokarn, S. and Kuthambalayan, T.S. (2017). Analysis of challenges inhibiting the reduction of waste in food supply chain. Journal of cleaner production.168: 595-604.

  16. Goyal, T.M., Mukherjee, A. and Kapoor, A. (2017). India’s Export of Food Products: Food and Safety Related Issues and Way Forward. Indian Council of International Economic Relations (ICRIER) Working Paper, No. 345. 

  17. Gulati, S. and Misra, A. (2014). Sugar Intake, Obesity and Diabetes in India. Nutrients. 6 (12): 5955-5974. 

  18. India State-level Disease Burden Initiative Collaborators. (2019). The burden of child and maternal malnutrition and trends in its indicators in the states of India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2017. Lancet Child Adolescent Health. 3: 855-870. 

  19. Lentz, E. C. (2018). Complicating narratives of women’s food and nutrition insecurity: domesticviolence in rural Bangladesh. World Dev. 104: 271-280. 

  20. Maharatna, A. (1996). The Demography of Famines: an Indian Historical Perspective. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-563711-3. 

  21. Mukherjee, A., Goyal, T.M., Miglani, S., Kapoor, A. (2019). SPS Barriers to India’s Agriculture Exports. Learning from the EU Experiences in SPS and Food Safety Standards. ICRIER Report. Available at India_Agriculture_ Export.pdf.  

  22. Nagesh, K and Joseph, G. (2020). Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Food Security in South Asia. Published by Routledge India. Pp 20-280.

  23. Negi, S. and Anand, N. (2016). Factors leading to losses and wastage in the supply chain of fruits and vegetables sector in India. Energy, Infrastruct. Transp. Challenges W. Forw. I: 80-105. RG.2.1.2395.5607

  24. Pingali, P. (2012). Green Revolution: Impacts, limits, and the path ahead. PNAS. 109(31): 12302-12308. 

  25. Pingali, P.L., Aiyar, A., and Abraham, M. (2019). Transforming Food Systems for Rising India. eBook ISBN 978-3-030-14409- 8. pp 15-45.

  26. Prabhakaran, D., Kavita, S., Gregory, A., Amitava, B., Neha, J.P., Mark, D.H. (2018). Cardiovascular diseases in India compared with the United States. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 72(1): 79-95.

  27. Rao, N. (2019). From abandonment to autonomy: gendered strategies for coping with climate change, Isiolo country, Kenya. Geoforum. 102: 27-37. 

  28. Rao, N. (2012). Male ‘providers’ and female ‘housewives: a gendered co-performance in rural North India. Dev. Change. 43: 1025-1048. 

  29. Singh, A. (2020). Childhood Malnutrition in India. IntechOpen. http:/ / 10.5772 intechopen.89701.  

  30. Springer, K.W., Hankivsky, O. and Bates, L. M. (2012). Gender and health: relational, intersectional and biosocial approaches. Social Science and Medicine. 74: 1661-1666. 

  31. Suraj, B. and Behera, U.K. (2014). Conservation agriculture in India- Problems, prospects and policy issues. International Soil and Water Conservation Research. 2: 1-12 

  32. Swagata, Y. (2017). Factchecker in reported in December 2017. 

  33. Times of India. (2020). Nearly 2/3rd of Indians are of working age, between 15 and 59. india/nearly-2/3rds-of-indians-are-of-working-age-between-15-and-59/articleshow/76778933.cms#:~:text=Nearly%202%2F3rds%20of%20Indians,India%20News%20%2D%20Times%20of% 20India.

  34. Thorner D. (1976). Agrarian Prospect in India. New Delhi: Allied Publishers. 

  35. Thow, A.M., Kadiyala, S., Khandelwal, S., Menon, P., Downs, S. and Reddy, K.S. (2016).Toward Food Policy for the Dual Burden of Malnutrition: An Exploratory Policy Space Analysis in India. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 37: 3. 

  36. United Nations. (2015). Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.United Nations-Sustainable Development knowledge platform. https://sustainable ourworld.  

  37. Usta, J., Makarem, N. and Habib, R. (2013). Economic abuse in Lebanon: experiences and perceptions. Violence Against Women. 19: 356-375. 

  38. Vipul V. (2017). IndiaSpend reported in May 2017.

  39. WHO (2019). Delivered by Women, Led by Men: A Gender and Equity Analysis of the Global Health and Social Workforce Human Resources for Health Observer Series No. 24.

Editorial Board

View all (0)