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Poverty and Food Security in Gujarat, India

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  • Anita Dixit

    (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India)

Abstract

This article analyses poverty, in the light of the prevailing methodological and definitional debates, in Gujarat, one of the fastest growing states in India. We examine the divergence between the official and nutrition-based poverty lines (PLs) and analyse its possible causes. First, to study whether the ‘PL bundle’ has changed over time, we test whether poverty is sensitive to changes in the base year; second, we examine the impact of food prices on the change in consumption at given expenditure levels; and third, we study the possible relation between poverty and foodgrain availability. We conclude that poverty is underestimated because official figures do not consider the change in consumption patterns, occurring partly as a result of high relative food prices. Nutrition poverty levels in Gujarat are higher than all-India levels, which creates a case for direct nutritional intervention for the poor.À la lumière des débats conceptuels et méthodologiques dominants, nous cherchons dans cet article à analyser la pauvreté dans le Gujarat, l’un des états indiens dont la croissance économique est la plus rapide. Nous examinons l’écart entre le seuil de pauvreté officiel et le seuil basé sur des critères nutritionnels et nous en analysons les causes possibles (i) Afin de déterminer si le ‘panier de biens de première nécessité’ a évolué au cours du temps, nous testons si la pauvreté est sensible aux changements qui se produisent au cours d’une année de base donnée; (ii), nous étudions l’impact des prix de la nourriture sur l’évolution de la consommation, à des niveaux de dépenses donnés. (iii) Nous examinons la relation possible entre la pauvreté et la disponibilité des céréales. Nous concluons que la pauvreté est sous-estimée dans la mesure où les chiffres officiels ne prennent pas en compte les changements dans les habitudes de consommation, qui se produisent en partie en raison des prix relativement élevés de la nourriture. Les niveaux de pauvreté alimentaire dans le Gujarat sont plus élevés que ceux du pays dans son ensemble, ce qui tendrait à justifier une intervention directe auprès desplus pauvres sous forme d’aide alimentaire.

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Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal European Journal of Development Research.

Volume (Year): 23 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 129-150

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Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:23:y:2011:i:1:p:129-150

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Cited by:
  1. Gillespie, Stuart & Harris, Jody & Kadiyala, Suneetha, 2012. "The Agriculture-Nutrition Disconnect in India: What Do We Know?:," IFPRI discussion papers 1187, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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