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Food Insecurity in India: Causes and Dimensions


  • Dand Sejal A
  • Chakravarty Sujoy


In this study we explore causes of the widespread food insecurity that prevails in India. It has been observed that even though the proportion of the malnourished fell by about 1 percent (FAO, 2002) through the nineties in India, their absolute number increased by about 18 million. Thus the problem of food insecurity in India is not of general systemic failure that arises due to a supply shortage. It is in fact more a problem where certain sectors (mainly the rural agrarian population and the urban informal sector) suffer from a shortage of food in a general climate of increasing production. Delving deeper, we observe that the main determinants of food insecurity in India today are the shrinking of agrarian and informal sector incomes and failures (both due to policy framing as well as implementation) of support led measures to combat poverty. The latter include the near breakdown of the targeted public distribution system (TPDS) in most regions of the country. This study uses existing scholarly work in the area as well as conventional data sources in order to show the extent of food insecurity in India today and the logic of the different patterns of its causality.

Suggested Citation

  • Dand Sejal A & Chakravarty Sujoy, 2005. "Food Insecurity in India: Causes and Dimensions," IIMA Working Papers WP2005-04-01, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:iim:iimawp:wp01876

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    1. Kapadia-Kundu, Nandita & Storey, Douglas & Safi, Basil & Trivedi, Geetali & Tupe, Rama & Narayana, G., 2014. "Seeds of prevention: The impact on health behaviors of young adolescent girls in Uttar Pradesh, India, a cluster randomized control trial," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 169-179.

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