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

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

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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Article provided by Blackwell in its journal Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (September)
Pages: 321-335

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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. Ahluwalia, Deepak, 1993. "Public distribution of food in India : Coverage, targeting and leakages," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 33-54, February.
  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. Radhakrishna, R. & Subbarao, K., 1997. "India's Public Distribution System. A National and International Perspective," World Bank - Discussion Papers 380, World Bank.
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