What has our government done to provide food security to the poor?


What has our government done to provide food security to the poor? Discuss any two schemes launched by the government?


The government has ensured the availability of food grains with the help of a carefully-designed food-security system. This system involves the maintenance of a buffer stock of food grains, and the distribution of this food among the poorer sections of the society with the help of a public distribution system. The government has also come up with several poverty-alleviation and food-intervention programmes that enhance food security; for example, the Antyodaya Anna Yojana and the National Food for Work Programme.

Antyodaya Anna Yojana

(i) Launched in December 2000, it caters to the families below poverty level.

(ii) Under this scheme, one crore of the poorest among the BPL families covered under the targeted public distribution system were identified.

(iii) Twenty-five kilograms of food grains were made available to each eligible family at a highly subsidised rate (Rs 2 per kg for wheat and Rs 3 per kg for rice)

(iv) The quantity of food grains was enhanced from 25 to 35 kgs with effect from April 2002.

(v) The scheme was expanded twice to include a greater number of BPL families. By August 2004, 2 crore families were covered under this scheme.

National Food for Work Programme

(i) Launched in November 2004, it caters to 150 most backward districts of the country.

(ii) Its objective is to intensify the generation of supplementary wage employment.

(iii) Any rural poor in need of wage employment and having the desire to do manual unskilled work can avail of this programme.

(iv) It is a 100 per cent Centrally-sponsored scheme. The food grains are provided to the States free of cost.

(v) The district collector is entrusted with the overall responsibility of planning, implementation, coordination, monitoring and supervision.

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