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Towards greater food security for India's poor: balancing government intervention and private competition

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  • Umali-Deininger, Dina L.
  • Deininger, Klaus W.

Abstract

To achieve its strategic objective of food security, the Government of India (GOI) maintains an elaborate set of food grain policies which include public procurement and price support operations, price stabilisation through buffer stocks, public food grain distribution, and extensive controls on private trade. We use aggregate and household level evidence to show that this system is costly, generates inefficiencies in the food grain marketing system (for both the public and the private sector), and often offers few, if any, benefits to its intended beneficiaries, the poor. On this basis we propose an integrated reform agenda involving improvements in the targeting of the public distribution system, creation of an enabling environment for increased private participation in food grain markets and greater incentives for efficiency by the Food Corporation of India (FCI). © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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  • Umali-Deininger, Dina L. & Deininger, Klaus W., 2001. "Towards greater food security for India's poor: balancing government intervention and private competition," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 25(2-3), pages 321-335, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:25:y:2001:i:2-3:p:321-335
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    1. Datt, Gaurav, 1998. "Poverty in India and Indian states," FCND discussion papers 47, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Radhakrishna, R. & Subbarao, K., 1997. "India's Public Distribution System. A National and International Perspective," World Bank - Discussion Papers 380, World Bank.
    3. T. B. Palaskas & Barbara Harriss-White & Trevor Crowe, 1997. "POLICY ARENA The evolution of local market commodity price behaviour in South India, 1972-92," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(1), pages 101-115.
    4. Ahluwalia, Deepak, 1993. "Public distribution of food in India : Coverage, targeting and leakages," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 33-54, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pinto, Brian & Zahir, Farah, 2004. "India : why fiscal adjustment now," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3230, The World Bank.
    2. Attwood, Donald W., 2005. "Big is ugly? How large-scale institutions prevent famines in Western India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 2067-2083, December.
    3. Bart Minten & Anneleen Vandeplas & Johan Swinnen, 2011. "Regulations, Brokers, and Interlinkages: The Institutional Organization of Wholesale Markets in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(7), pages 864-886, May.
    4. Rashid, Shahidur & Gulati, Ashok & Cummings, Jr., Ralph, 2008. "Grain marketing parastatals in Asia: Why do they have to change now?," IFPRI book chapters,in: Rashid, Shahidur & Gulati, Ashok & Cummings, Jr., Ralph (ed.), From parastatals to private trade: Lessons from Asian agriculture, chapter 2, pages 10-47 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Minten, Bart & Reardon, Thomas & Vandeplas, Anneleen, 2009. "Linking urban consumers and rural farmers in India: A comparison of traditional and modern food supply chains," IFPRI discussion papers 883, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Desh Gupta, 2008. "India's Lagging Sector: Indian Agriculture in a Globalising Economy," ASARC Working Papers 2008-05, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    7. Myers, Robert J., 2006. "On the costs of food price fluctuations in low-income countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 288-301, August.
    8. Neha Gupta, 2015. "Government Intervention in Grain Markets in India: Rethinking the Procurement Policy," Working Papers id:7810, eSocialSciences.
    9. Rashid, Shahidur & Gulati, Ashok & Mahendra Dev, S., 2008. "Parastatals and food policies: The Indian case," IFPRI book chapters,in: Rashid, Shahidur & Gulati, Ashok & Cummings, Jr., Ralph (ed.), From parastatals to private trade: Lessons from Asian agriculture, chapter 3, pages 51-76 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Rashid, Shahidur & Cummings, Ralph Jr. & Gulati, Ashok, 2005. "Grain marketing parastatals in Asia," MTID discussion papers 80, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. Achintya Ray, 2006. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures With Public Transfers," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 9(3), pages 1-8.
    12. Umali-Deininger, Dina & Sur, Mona & Deininger, Klaus W., 2005. "Foodgrain Subsidies in India: Are they Reaching the Poor?," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19486, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    13. Masiero, Silvia, 2015. "Redesigning the Indian Food Security System through E-Governance: The Case of Kerala," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 126-137.
    14. World Bank, 2001. "India - Improving Household Food and Nutrition Security : Achievements and the Challenges Ahead, Volume 1. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15516, The World Bank.
    15. Rashid, Shahidur & Cummings Jr., Ralph & Gulati, Ashok, 2007. "Grain Marketing Parastatals in Asia: Results from Six Case Studies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 1872-1888, November.
    16. World Bank, 2008. "India - Taking Agriculture to the Market," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7919, The World Bank.
    17. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:9:y:2006:i:3:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS

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