The Nation Food Security Act seeks to:
- Provide legal guarantee to 75% rural and 50% urban population to 5Kgs of food grain per month at Rs. 3, Rs. 2 and Re. 1 for rice, wheat and coarse grain respectively.
- Provide for he nutritional needs of pregnant and lactating women (maternity benefit of atleast Rs. 6,000 for six months).
- Make the eldest woman (above the age of 18 years) head of a household for the issue of the ration cards.
- Social audit and vigilance committee to ensure accountability, transparency and quick redressal of grievances.
NFSA seeks to seal leakages in food delivery system through technological and administrative interventions such as Aadhar cards and setting up new accountability, transparency and grievance redressal system.
For the implementation of the Act, nearly 60 million tonnes of food grains will be required. The infrastrucural weakness of FCI is a concern area.
Also, the rising food prices are bound to bring economic pressure on the government while implementing the Act.
Declining productivity, land and water degradation, rising petroleum prices, climate changes are some of the supply side constraints.
Areas that need to be addressed: raising agricultural investment, R&D, human capital, roads, market, storage, processing, organic farming
Source: Kurukshetra magazine