Food is too costly for most Indians, says global study
The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2012, released on Wednesday, has ranked India 66th among 105 nations, placing it in a “moderate” category and citing affordability rather than availability as a key food security threat for the country. Zia Haq reports.delhi Updated: Sep 27, 2012 01:32 IST
The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2012, released on Wednesday, has ranked India 66th among 105 nations, placing it in a “moderate” category and citing affordability rather than availability as a key food security threat for the country.
According to the index, India is significantly more food insecure as compared to China (39) and slightly lower than neighbouring Sri Lanka (62), although it fared well against Pakistan (75) and Bangladesh (81).
The findings bear out India's key food security issue. Although the country has consistently raised farm production, yet lower incomes and rising prices mean not everyone can afford nutritious food.
Brought out by the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a think-tank within the influential Economist magazine group, it is sponsored by US corporation DuPont.The index measured nations on 25 key indicators, going beyond just hunger.
Countries were assessed as those most and least vulnerable to food insecurity in terms of affordability, availability, and quality and safety.
India scored the highest in food availability (51.3) but lowest (38.4) in terms of food access, pointing to a poor ability to move food efficiently because of infrastructure problems despite being the world's largest producer of milk and edible oils, and the second-largest producer of wheat and sugar.
“One of the key problems is that in India, it takes a great effort to move food from point A to B,” EIU's Pratibha Thaker, who anchored the index, said.
However, India's food-based social security programme, such as those for below poverty line, gave it a positive score of 3, higher than the world average of 2.3.
US-based DuPont's executive vice-president James C Borel said the company's focus was to drive productivity by customizing farm technologies to India’s local needs.