India committed to ensure food security for every citizen: Pawar

November 14th, 2007 - 2:21 am ICT by admin  
Addressing the World Food Day celebrations here today, Pawar said the Right to Food Approach complements food security in terms of food availability, accessibility and utilization with human dignity and cultural acceptability.

“We have been following a twin-track approach in this regard to strengthen productivity and livelihoods at one level and implementing social safety nets for those unable to provide for themselves at another level,” he added.

Keeping in view the challenges of growing population and the need for food security, two major programmes have been launched recently to augment food production and availability in the country, he said.

The first one is the ‘National Food Security Mission’ targeted to push both production and productivity of stable food grains such as wheat, rice and pulses on a mission mode. The other programme ‘Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna’ provides for additional assistance by the Centre as 100 percent grant to incentivise states to take up agriculture development on priority and in a comprehensive manner with definite action plans.

He expressed the hope that with such major initiatives, there would be enough production to take care of the country’s food security requirements.

Pawar said that towards ensuring social safety net for food and nutritional security for our citizens, the States interventions cover the Targeted Public Distribution System. Under this, subsidized food grains are being distributed to the poorest of the poor families under the Antyodaya Anna Yojna.

Under various welfare schemes, more than 50 lakh tonnes of food grains were distributed last year. To ensure that there is no adverse impact on food security in the country, the government maintains the required buffer stock of food grains as per norms, procures food grains at minimum support prices from the farmers and also imports wheat when required from abroad.

The Minister pointed out that the Central Issue Prices of food grains distributed under the targeted public distribution system have not been increased over last six years.

Kantilal Bhuria, Minister of State for Agriculture, Dr. Daniel Gustafson, Country Director, FAO and Dr. P.K. Mishra, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Dr. Mangla Rai, DG, ICAR also addressed the gathering.

World Food Day is observed every year as an International Day on October 16, the founding day of Food and Agriculture Organisation. The theme for this year is ‘The Right to Food’. (ANI)

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