Food Procurement and Distribution – PDS & NFSA, Shanta Kumar Committee, FCI restructuring, Buffer stock, etc.

[op-ed snap] Nutrition security has a much wider connotation than food security

  1. Context: Only five States, Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, have fully executed National Food Security Act
  2. Aim of NFSA: likely to benefit 720 million people through availability of 5 kg/capita/month of subsidised foodgrains at a much lower rate than in open market
  3. Free daily meals for children, maternity benefits, including cash for pregnant women, to combat undernutrition and malnutrition
  4. Administrative steps needed: Abolition of private procurement and storage system, controlling diversion of foodgrain from godown to the millers
  5. Proper recording of procurement, storage and distribution of grains across the departments
  6. Distribution through self-help groups and gram panchayats, regular monitoring at block and ward levels
  7. Positive outcomes in the 5 states: significant increase in number of households having ration cards, improvement in distribution and consumption of food
  8. Nutrition Security: encompasses a biological approach- adequate and safe intake of protein, energy, vitamin and minerals
  9. Under PDS, poor quality of food, lacking essential micronutrients and no diet diversity, and unhygienic conditions of storage come in the way of providing adequate nutrition
  10. Measure to increase nutrition: NFSA to provide one additional coarse cereal, viz., millet along with wheat and rice
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