National Seminar on “Inclusive Agriculture Growth and Food Security” from 15th – 16th March 2014 organized by Dept. of Economics, Osmania University, Hyderabad.
The concepts of ‘inclusive agriculture growth (IAG)’ and ‘food security (FS)’ are not new to Indian Planning. The state interventions in 70s in the form of ‘Small Farmer Development Agency (SFDA.)’ and ‘Marginal Farmer and Agriculture Labour Agency (MFAL)’ and also the ‘Desert Development Programme (DDP)’ and ‘Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP)’ reflect the concerns of the country to achieve more broad based and inclusive agriculture growth. The promotion of ‘Integrated Farming Systems’ concept in the 80s is another step in this direction to ensure livelihood security to millions of tiny producers in the primary sector and reduce rural poverty. The instruments of India’s food policy in the late 60s have laid foundation for modernization of its agriculture and provided the needed incentive framework for the rapid growth of the two major cereals viz., wheat and rice contributing to near food security at the aggregate level. However, these achievements are the cost of other grains and also widened the inequalities between irrigated and rain fed regions as well among the farm size classes. Several different measures to strengthen and diversify the small holder agriculture through credit and technology support have yielded positive outcomes in terms of production of over 250 million tonnes of food grains, rapid increase in the share of livestock products, fisheries, horticulture and forestry. Despite these remarkable gains witnessed in agriculture, the small farmers are confronted with weather, technology and market risks. On the other hand, the poor consumer is affected by high levels of (food price) inflation and low purchasing power. The socially unacceptable levels of hunger, malnutrition among children and under nourishment among adult women and prevalence of high levels of morbidity and mortality confirm that linkages of growth and welfare are weak in the context of India. The development can’t be sustained unless these linkages are strengthened and made mutually reinforcing. While the ‘New Economic Reforms (NER)’ have opened new vistas to agriculture growth and food security, the country’s experiences are mixed. The emphasis on rapid and inclusive agriculture growth since 2000 and the ‘National Food Security Act (NFSA: 2013)’ unambiguously point out that we have to go a long way to realize our twin inter related goals. In a way, one is compelled to infer that the outcomes of the food policy have caused distortions and dampened the prospects of inclusive agriculture growth.
In this backdrop, the present Seminar proposes to revisit some important themes with a view to suggest some remedies to address the constraints and identify some opportunities to realize a higher and inclusive agriculture growth which ensures access to adequate and quality food for healthy life for all throughout the year at least for the agriculture dependent households. In regard to others, an action plan has to be rolled out to increase their purchasing power and improved access to quality food at affordable prices. The Seminar lays greater emphasis on delineation of specific measures for the revival of rain fed agriculture where poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition are heavily concentrated.
The three themes along with some key (but not exhaustive) issues are presented below for the perusal / benefit of paper writers and discussions.
Theme I: Agriculture and Food Security in the context of inclusive growth
Inclusive growth has been viewed as one of the preconditions for arresting the worsening inequalities, poverty reduction and also for sustainable growth itself. Further, it is observed that inclusive growth in agriculture would be more effective in improving welfare of the poor. For this to be realized, the eco-fragile regions and the tiny producers of agriculture should contribute more to its future growth. These regions and the class of producers are vulnerable to several risks (weather, technology and market) and prefer to move out of agriculture. In this context, some important factors deserve special attention. One is the present productivity levels for most of the agriculture products are well below the potential levels. The shifts in the consumption pattern suggest that priority has to be assigned for non-cereal food crops. The shares of these regions and the small producers in millets, oilseeds, livestock, goats and sheep are high which indicate opportunity to reap benefits from the shifts in demand. If agriculture grows at over 4 per cent and is inclusive, then the food insecurity of the tiny farmers of agriculture in the rain fed areas would reduce considerably. Despite changes in consumption pattern and stagnancy in cropped area under cereals, the demand for cereals continue to rise due to population factor and income elasticity. This is a challenge for Indian economy to meet the demand in the light of rising costs of cultivation and market risks. Then implementation of the NFSA will be in jeopardy and heavy dependency on imports to provide food security would bring in new challenges.
Given the current pace of environmental degradation and climate changes, the growth engines of agriculture would be drought and pest resistant and high yielding seed technologies and non-chemical inputs. These have implications for investments in Research & Development, Extension, processing, infrastructure and marketing services besides timely flow of credit. How to mobilize these resources and allocate them to the agriculturally backward regions adequately? How to promote Public-Private-people (farmer) participation for better flow of funds in agriculture and production of quality food?
What sort of institutional arrangements would strengthen the tiny producers’ participation in setting priorities in allocation of resources(with NRM frame work), production, processing and marketing which together help in making agriculture remunerative and sustainable ?. If the earlier ‘Integrated Farming Systems” approach is one of the effective alternatives, how to operationalise the same in the current context? A related issue is spread of crop insurance for various agri –products and simplification of procedures to claim compensation.
The present Act includes coarse cereals such as Jowar, Maize, Ragi and Bajra for distribution under TPDS. The storage of these grains is problematic and the demand is largely confined to the areas of production. The past experiences reveal that the decentralized procurement-storage-distribution experiments have been beneficial and cost effective. How to integrate these local initiatives with the macro food security system needs clarity.
The paper writers are requested to take up some of these issues for critical analysis and suggest measures for making agriculture growth more robust and meet the food security needs as well.
Theme II: Efficacy of Public Interventions for ensuring Food Security to the Poor
During the last four to five decades, India has launched several programmes / schemes to improve the access to food which include income transfers, subsidized food supply, free food delivery and supplementary nutrition. Preference has been given to the poor, children and women in this regard. States like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Chhattisgarh have efficiently and effectively executed some of these social security programmes. These successful experiences have to be replicated / adapted elsewhere. What are the strengths and limitations of these various schemes in chronic food insecure regions? How to overcome the deficiencies and make them effective in minimising food insecurity? It is to be noted that hygienic environments (safe drinking water supply and sanitation facilities) would ensure better conversion of food to nutrition. Why some states are less sensitive to the low levels of social development and reluctant to earmark more resources? What role the CBOs and local institutions can play in mobilizing people’s participation in design and implementation of these schemes?
Paper contributors based on their evaluations of key food security programmes such as TPDS, ICDS, MDM and wage employment in different backward regions with special reference to the socially and demographically vulnerable groups can indicate the extent and nature of deprivations / denials in the food delivery and suggest ways and means to strengthen the schemes.
Theme III: National Food Security Act: Implementation Challenges and Implications for agriculture
Introduction of “Right to Food” in a society, where hunger –poverty –malnutrition are wide spread and chronic, is an appropriate one. However, Indian experience with administering of social safety nets with focus on food security is mixed. The evaluations have clearly delineated the pre-requisites for successful implementation of such schemes which include: political commitment, competent and democratic local governance institutions and enlightened (awareness of rights and entitlements) and organized communities. The success of NFSP,undoubtedly, depends upon creation/strengthening of these critical facts. One set deals with aspects missing in the NFSA keeping in view of the broad definition of ‘food security’ as indicated in the Act. The second category is concerned with the specific challenges in implementation of the NFS programme in an effective manner. The paper writers, based on the earlier studies and field experiences, can highlight the practical problems and suggest plausible ways and means to strengthen the newly envisaged food security system. Some important issues have been indicated in this context.
Role of Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat / Municipal Ward: These grassroots level organizations have to play a major role in finalizing the list of poor households including those at the risk of hunger based on the Socio-Economic Caste Census data with no exclusion errors in a transparent way. How to ensure effective supervision of the activities of ‘Anganwadis’ and ‘Fair Price Shops’to ensure proper delivery of quality food and grains to the target groups? What are main limitations of these bodies and how to strengthen them? Further, how to make these local institutions more democratic, vibrant and responsive to the concerns of the poor?
Revamping the institutional structure: Under this rights based intervention, covering length and breadth of the country and reaching out over 800 million households regularly, the present set up is inadequate. States have to initiate special measures besides allocating more funds, to monitor the functioning of Programmes and also redress the grievances . India has rich experience with planning and management of NREGA; success as well as failure stories. What specific suggestions would be offered with special reference to chronic food insecure regions to plug leakages, minimize wastage and overcome large scale corruption? What are the areas in which the civil society organizations can be involved in the implementation of NFS Programme?
Assessment of Demand to coarse cereals and procurement Arrangement:
The PDS with rice and wheat are key commodities has influenced the consumption pattern in traditionally millet growing areas. The price differentials between rice and wheat vis-à-vis millets in the open market raises doubts about the off take of coarse cereals even by the poor from fair price shops. Further procurement apparatus in millet areas is weak and storage of these grains is a challenging task. How to resolve these issues?
Keeping the above issues in view, the Department of Economics had organized Two day National Seminar on Inclusive Growth in Agriculture and Food Securityon 15th& 16th, March 2014 under the UGC-SAP (DSA – III). We have received more than hundred papers on various aspects relating to the Inclusive Growth in Agriculture and Food security from academicians, researchers and experts from different parts of the country for presentation at the Seminar. All arrangements had been made by the Department of Economics to present the papers at the venue of the seminar [PGRRCDE, OU] and at Department of Economics, University College of Arts and Social Sciences.
At the outset, we express our deep sense of gratitude and sincere thanks to our Vice-Chancellor, Prof. S. Sathyanarayana for his encouragement in organising the National Seminar on “Inclusive Growth in Agriculture and Food Security” and accepting to be the Chief Guest of the Inaugural Function of the seminar.
We thank Prof.Ch.Hanumanth Rao (Former Planning Commission Member) for having accepted to deliver Inaugural Address. We are grateful to Prof.R.RadhaKrishna, Chairman, CESS for having accepted to deliver keynote address and for chairing the Panel Discussion. We thank Prof.Madan Mohan Goel for having accepted to be the Guest of Honour and for having been on the Panel discussion on Food security. We thank Prof. S.Mallesh for presiding over the function. We thank Prof. K. Pratap Reddy,Registrar, O.U., Chief Guest of the Valedictory Session of the Seminar, Prof.K.Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, APSCHE, Hyderabad, [Guest of Honour], Mr. K. Venugopal, IAS (Retd.) [Valedictory Address] Prof. S. Mallesh, Principal, University College of Arts and Social Sciences [Chairman of the Inaugural Session]for having accepted to grace the seminar with scholastic views.
We express our sincere thanks to the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, Osmania University, Development and UGC Affairs, Osmania University, Principal, University College of Arts and Social Sciences, Osmania University, Secretary to Andhra Pradesh State Council for Higher Education and ICSSR Southern Regional Centre, for extending financial support to organize the national seminar.
Report on Inaugural, panel discussion and Technical sessions on 15th March 2014. Food security is the right to food which is one of the most basic rights of humankind. However, hunger remains unacceptably widespread, across the globe millions go hungry every day.
With the world's population set to reach 9 billion by 2050, agricultural production will need to increase by 70% in order to meet the growing demand.
While many systems of food production in use are simply unsustainable, it has been estimated by the United Nations Environment Program that up to 25 per cent of world food production could be lost by 2050 as a result of climate change, water scarcity and land degradation.
With this background, eminent guests, scholars have presented their opinions during the seminar, which have summed up briefly
Prof. Ch. Hanmanth Rao, Chancellor of Central University, Hyderabad had delivered the Inaugural address. He touched upon the concept of inclusive growth, emerging characteristics of Indian agriculture, Inclusive agriculture growth and about Direct Cash transfers and PDS of food grains
Dr. M.M.Goel, Dean of Kurukshetra University had graced as Guest of honour. In his presentation on Rationale of Food security for Inclusive Growth in India, he touched upon the food grain production volumes and link to FAO norms of food grains per person per day. He also compared irony of FCI storage capacities with the farmers at village level. He mentioned about JUGAD technology.
Prof. R.RadhaKrishna, Chairman –CESS during his keynote address highlighted about unacceptably high levels of Child malnutrition in India, He brought out the linkage between malnutrition and access to schooling and access to medical assistance, He also spoke about large size households and prevalence of child malnutrition. Prof.K. Pratap Reddy Registrar, O.U. was the Chief Guest, and Prof Mallesh Principal of UCA&SS,-OU. presided over the occasion. All the senior faculty members of the Department, have played their role effectively.
Prof. A.Muralidhar Rao, Head of the Department extended welcome address . Prof. B.Shiva Reddy, Dept. of Economics, indtroduced the guests and Prof. K Pratap Redody, Seminar Director, spoke about the Seminar. Prof. G.Laxmaiah, Chairman, BOS in Economics proposed Vote of Thanks After the inaugural session, Panel Discussion on Food Security in India was followed. Panel Discussion waschaired by Prof.R.Radhakrishna,Chairman, CESS, Begumpet, Hyd. Other panelists include Prof. Madan Mohan Goel, Kurukshethra University
Prof. Vijaya Prakash, Vice Chairman A.P.State Council of Higher Education
Prof. S.Subrmaniam, NIRD Technical Session-1
The theme1st Technical session was “ Agriculture and Food Security in the context of Inclusive Growth Chair Person : Prof.Venkat Redely, CESS, Begumpet, Hyd.
: Prof. B.Shiva Rcddy, Dept. of Economics, O.U. Rapporteurs : Prof. J.Anjaiaih Dept. of Economics, O.U,
:Dr. M.Savithri, Dept. of Economics, O.U . Vote of Thanks : Prof. A. Nakula Reddy, Dept. of Economics, O.U. There were nine papers presented, during the session; Mr.Yellaswamy; presented on Review of food security act...in India and focused on quality and quantity and affordability of food grains. Dr. B. Someshwar spoke about food security in India and challenges ahead....and dealt with massive food stocks versus starvation and increasing population. Dr. Anuradha presented on "regional prosperity to food security in TamilNadu. She highlighted universal PDS coverrae. Dr.Satyanarayana spoke about RythuBazar- an innovative direct marketing model in the context of Food security and inclusive growth. He focused RythuBazar system in A.P. and compared with other states like Rajastthan, Punjab, Hariyana etc., Mr. Digamber chand talk was on Food insecurity and sustainable agriculture an empirical analysis in Odisha. Analyzed cost of production and yields, emphasized on Ecofreindly technologies. Miss. Sandra Kirthi, presented on contemporary issues in Indian Agriculture and Food security. She said that agriculture is backbone of Indian economy therefore proper strategies must be taken for agriculture development. Dr. Savithri in her paper on agriculture and food security the way to inclusive growth- emphasized on development of agricultural infrastructure growth leads to food security. Dr. Ramulu focused on food security in India..his analysis raised the concerns of the food security act implementation. Dr. Narayana in his talk on inclusive growth and food security in india and suggested that agriculture must be given most importance in planning. Technical Session-II Theme II: Agriculture - Nutrition-Food Security Linkages Chair person : Prof.Ranga reddy, S.V. University.Tirupathi. Rapporteurs : Dr.M.Ramulu, and Ms. A. Lakshmi, Dept. of economics. Vote of Thanks : Prof.J.Anjaiah, I/c, Head, Dept. of Economics, There were six paper presentations: Dr. Daisy presented a paper on atitled called “ Impact of floods on food security and livelihoods of IDP tribal households: A case study in Khammam district” It’s a joint authored paper with Prof. G. Ramakrishna and G. Solomon raj. They suggested that Government and other agencies should work on early mechanisms and educate the IDP households and make them aware of resilent mechanism of thwarting food insecurity and also should train them in coping mechanism for such disasters. B. Vanitha presented on “Is public distribution system an effective tool of food security? some observations”. J.Nagaiah Titled his paper “Inclusive growth and its impat on rural development. G. Venkateshwarlu, spoke on “Food Security search for inclusive growth in India. Anish Fathima spoke on “Food Security –Challenges and issues in India”. Prasad talk was on “Agriculture growth in Andra Pradesh. He stressed upon yield irrigation fertilizers pre and post reform growth in India”. Report on Technical session on 16.03.2014 The theme of III technical session was “Bio-technology: An Opportunity towards Profitable Agriculture and Quality Food to People”. This session was chaired by Prof.K.Hanumanth Rao, NIRD, Rajendra Nagar, Hyderabad and Prof.A.Nakula Reddy, Department of Economics, Osmania University. Rapporteurs for this session were Dr.M.Ramulu and Dr.M.Savithri, Department of Economics, Osmania University.
There were 8 papers presented by the Participant.
Dr. G.Ranganath, ICFAI Foundation of Higher Education presented on “NFSA Act” and concentrated on implementation of Right to food and its consequences. Bio-technology may not be the solution to the success of NFSA.
N.Govind Reddy, Research Scholar, Department of Economics, Osmania University presented on “The Impact of Special Economic Zones on Agriculture and Food Security in A.P.” He highlighted the impact on the agriculture and food security through SEZ land allotments and its misuse of Agriculture and fertile lands.
G.Veera Swamy, Research Scholar, Department of Economics, Osmania University presented on “A Role of Inclusive Growth Agricultural Sector of Food Security: A Case Study on Nalgonda District of Andhra Pradesh”. He presented co-operative system of agriculture is better than other methods to achieve the food security.
K.Kondal, Research Scholar, Department of Economics, Osmania University presented on “Performance of Horticulture Sector for Agriculture Development”.He presented in his paper comparative study of Horticulture and Agriculture both are positive co-relation.
G.Moukthika student of Narayana IAS Academy presented on “Food Security Act”. She has concentrated implication of food security Act. The main problem is exclusion of the Act is not properly documented.
Miss. Priyanka presented on “Food Security Act” She has enlightened implementation on part and problems. As per her view food subsidies are increasing simultaneously, procurement rice also increasing. At the results, fiscal deficit is the problem.
Mr.Shiva Ram presented on “Food Security and Agricultural Development in India”. His paper had given importance to organic farming to achieve the food security.
Dr.Anji Reddy, Department of Economics, Mahatma Gandhi University, Nalgonda presented on “National Food Security Act – Implications and Challenges”. His paper has over viewed Food and Agriculture organisation, resolutions and poverty problems, social activism, judicial pressure to brought out the Food Security Act.
The session concluded with vote of thanks by Prof.J.Narasimha Rao, University College for Women, Koti, Osmania University.
IV Technical session on “Revival of Rainfed Agriculture for addressing Institutional and Technical Constraints” was chaired by Prof.A.Ranga Reddy, Department of Economics, S.V.University, Tirupati. In this session 5 papers were presented. Rapporteurs are Dr.M.Ramulu, Department of Economics, Osmania University and Dr.Anji Reddy, Mahatma Gandhi University, Nalgonda.
The paper on “Inclusive Growth – Rural Women Farmers in India” presented by B.Madhu. The paper presenter highlighted plight of the women farmers and argued for rights over agricultural land to be given in the name of women instead of the men of the family to ensure economic empowerment of women so that the food security can be ensured.
Another paper on “Inclusive Growth in Agriculture and Food Security” presented by G.Bhagya Laxmi argued for use of technology, increase of employment. Consumption demand can be increased to assure the food security.
Ch.Rama Krishna, Ph.D scholar, Department of Public Administration, Osmania University has presented paper on “Food and Water Security in Agricultural Sector in India” where in it argued that unless water allocation is done appropriately, food security, quality food, productivity and ecological balance cannot be achieved.
SaidaiahG research scholar and other student have presented paper on “Need for Second Green Revolution for Food Security”. They have explained the outcomes of first green revolution and argued second green revolution by potential area to increase production by integrating approach with live stock, credit facility, organic farming and in transforming Indian agriculture to corporate agriculture.
The last paper on “Food Security Act 2013 Challenges” presented by C.Madhu. He is in an opinion that to provide food security it has to be increase the employment and their incomes to enable them to have a food security. India can be build by providing food but not by weapon.
The session concluded by proposing vote of thanks by Dr.A.Laxmi, Department of Economics, University College for Women, Koti
The theme of the V session was “Food Security Act’ and the VI session was “Efficiency of Public Interventions for ensuring food security to the poor”. Prof.A.Muralidhar Rao, Head, Department of Economics, Osmania University and Prof.G.Ramakrishna, Dy. Director of Academic Staff College, Osmania University were chair persons for V and VI technical sessions and rapporteurs were Dr.M.Ramulu and Dr.I.Daisy, Department of Economics, Osmania University.
In all 12 papers were presented in this sessions.
Prof.K.Hanumanth Rao has concentrated and over view of requirement for implementation of food security act.
Mahendran paper advised to the Government to cultivate the millets to achieve the food security.
Some of the other papers concentrated on food act implementation and implications.
The session was concluded with vote of thanks by Miss. Laxmi, Department of Economics, University College for Women, Koti.
Valedictory Session. The valedictory address was delivered by Mr. K.R.Venugopal, IAS Retd. , Former Advisor to Prime Misister of India and Principal Secretary to Civil Supplies Department. He discussed on the latest National Food Security Act. Guests of Honour include, Prof. S.Galab, Director, CESS, and Prof. K.Muthyam Reddy, Dean, Reddy College.