An additional 53 million people go to bed hungry every night, despite India’s Gross Domestic Product doubling since 1991, primarily due to rising food costs, international NGO Oxfam said on Wednesday.
“Poor families who spend more than 60% of their earning on food are increasingly struggling to stretch their meager household budgets because of rising food cost,” said Oxfam’s new global report, Growing a Better Future.
India is home to a quarter of the world’s hungry people, with 40% of the population (48 crore people) being malnourished, a decline of just 10% in the last three decades.
The report analyses the impact on rising food inflation across the globe on hunger and its future implications, with food prices expected to more than double in the next 10 years and climate change reducing agricultural production.
The increase in hunger in India has been primarily because of the government’s focus shifting from agriculture to economic policies since 1990.
“While the government’s agrarian crises investments have shrunk, the number of indebted smallholder farmers has doubled,” the report said, while highlighting fall in production in green revolution states of Haryana and Punjab.
With the fall in production, the per capita availability of food is on the decline, causing food prices to rise and impacting the poor the most. Among the poor, the report said, the deprived -- dalits -- suffer the most.
In this time of food crises, the report also highlighted some success stories.
In Mahargunj district of Uttar Pradesh, the families belonging to the marginalized sections have learnt how to protect their drinking water resources and in Andhra Pradesh poor farmers has used watershed management to improve agriculture production.