Enacting Food Security legislation by India is a landmark achievement in giving “Right to Food” to the millions of its countrymen. It marks a paradigm shift in approach to food security in India– from being a welfare measure to rights-based approach.
This was stated by Prof K.V. Thomas, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, government of India while addressing the opening session of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on World Food Security at Rome today. He said that with this legislation India has shown its commitment to ensure food security for all. Highlighting the feature of this world’s largest ever welfare programme, he asserted that with recent trends in higher food grain production and sufficient stocks, the country would be able to implement the Act successfully.
Later addressing FAO’s session on International Food Prices today at Rome only, Prof Thomas reiterated India’s commitment to contain food prices volatility. He said that the Government of India has taken several measures both administrative and fiscal to contain price rise of essential commodities which is showing promising results. The recent analysis of Indian market data shows declining prices of food during August 2013 as compared to the corresponding period of previous years, he said.
Extending India’s support to international efforts for achieving food security, Prof Thomas said that India is always in the forefront to contribute to the food aid programmes to the needy countries. To address emergency food security needs at regional level, India has the major contribution to the Food Bank set up by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). “India has removed restrictions on export of cereals especially rice and wheat. By this measure, during 2012-13, more than 10 million tons of rice and 5 million tons of wheat have been exported from India. This has helped many nations in meeting their requirements of food grains”, Indian Food Minister said.