Class 9 Economics Chapter 4 Food Security in India Important Questions

Class 9 Social Science Economics Chapter 4 Food Security in India important questions and answers cover the major concepts of the chapter. Solving answers of these important questions help students to revise the Chapter most competently. We prepared these questions with PDF as per the latest NCERT book and CBSE syllabus. Practising these questions before the exam will ensure excellent marks in the exam.

Food Security in India Class 9 Important Questions and Answers

1. Explain the major dimensions of food security. 

Answer: The major dimensions of food security are:
(а) Availability of food. It means food production within the country, food imports, along with previous years’ stock stored in government granaries.
(b) Accessibility. It means food is within the reach of every person.
(c) Affordability. It implies having enough money to buy sufficient safe and nutritious food to meet one’s dietary needs.

2. What are the essentials of food security system?

Answer: Essentials of Food Security System are the following :
1. Increasing domestic production of food to meet its growing demand
2. Food should be available in adequate quantity as well as to meet nutritional requirements
3. Food should be available at reasonable prices
4. Buffer stock of food should be maintained

3. How is food security affected during a natural calamity?

Answer: In the times of any natural calamity, say a drought, total production of foodgrains declines. It creates a shortage of food, particularly in the affected areas. Due to shortage of food, the prices go up in the market. At high prices, poor people may not afford to buy food. If such a calamity occurs in a large area, it may lead to starvation.

4. Why is there need for self-sufficiency in food grains in India?

Answer: Need for self-sufficiency in foodgrains arises from the following :
(i) to feed growing population
(ii) to fight against any natural calamity
(iii) to reduce import of foodgrains
(iv) to control prices of foodgrains

5. The task of attaining self-sufficiency in foodgrains in future seems to be difficult. Give two reasons in support of this statement.

Answer: The task of attaining self-sufficiency in foodgrains in future seems to be difficult in India. It is because :
(i) There has been a gradual shift from cultivation of food crops to cultivation of fruits, vegetables, oil seeds and crops which act as industrial raw materials.
(ii) More and more land is being used for construction of factories, residential buildings, etc.

6. Mention two objectives of PDS. [Important]

Answer: Two Objectives of PDS.
(i) To provide essential goods at subsidised prices to the consumers.
(ii) To control prices of essential commodities.

7. Why is procurement of foodgrains done in India?

Answer: The government procures foodgrains at pre-announced prices to provide incentives to farmers for raising the production of crops. The food procured by the government is distributed among the poorer section of the society through fair price shops at subsidised prices.

8. Mention two reasons behind excessive buffer stocks of foodgrains.

Answer: Two Reasons for Excessive Buffer Stock :
(i) There has been increase in minimum support price.
(ii) The offtake of foodgrains under PDS has been declining.

9. State two consequences of the excess reserves of food grains in India.

Answer: Two Consequences of Excessive Buffer Stock :
(i) It has raised economic costs i.e. cost incurring for procuring, storing and distribution of foodgrains.
(ii) It has adversely affected the food grain prices.

10. Mention two measures undertaken by the government to reduce the stock of foodgrains.

Answer: Measures to Reduce Buffer Stock.
(i) Open sale at prices much below the economic cost.
(ii) Increase in BPL allocation from 28 kg to 35 kg per month per family.

11. What is the Public Distribution System? [CBSE 2010]

Answer: The Food Corporation of India procures food at pre-announced prices. The state governments distribute foodgrains to poor through ration shops at subsidised prices fixed by the government. This is called the Public Distribution System. There are about 4.6 lakh ration shops all over the country. Ration shops are also known as fair price shops.

12. How cooperatives are helpful in food security? [CBSE 2010]

Answer: Role of cooperatives in providing food security:
In many parts of India, the cooperative societies set up their own cooperatives to supply different items at cheaper rates. Following are the examples:
(i) In Tamil Nadu 94% of ration shops are run by cooperatives.
(ii) In Delhi, the Mother Dairy is supplying milk and milk products like butter, ghee etc. to the people at much subsidised rates.
(iii) In Gujarat, Amul is doing the same job of supplying milk and milk products to people at much cheaper rates. It is being run by cooperatives. It has brought ‘White Revolution’ in India.

13. Why is food security essential? How food security is affected during disaster? 

Answer: Need of food security: The poorest section of the society might be food-insecure most of the times, while persons above poverty lines might also be food insecure when the country faces national disaster. Due to natural calamity, say drought, total production of foodgrain decreases. It creates a shortage of food in affected areas. Due to shortage of food, the prices go up. At higher prices, some people cannot buy food. So food security is essential.

14. State three dimensions of food security.  

Answer: Three dimensions of food security:
(i) Availability of food: There should be enough stocks of food items in the country through good production, through imports or previous year’s stock stored in government godowns.
(ii) Accessibility of food: Food should be within the reach of everybody.
(iii) Affordability of food: The prices of different food articles should be such that every individual is able to buy them. The foodgrain items should be within the reach of the people.

15. Why has Public Distribution System been criticised? Explain any three reasons.

Answer: (i) Market ineffectiveness of PDS : Average consumption of PDS grain at all India level is only 1 kg per person per month. Average consumption figure in the states of Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh is only 300 gms, while in states like Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu this figure is 3-4 kg per person per month. As a result, the poor has to depend on markets rather than ration shops.

(ii) With the introduction of three types of cards and three different prices for the same articles to the different people, the whole system of Public Distribution System has become much complicated.

(iii) PDS dealers malpractices : The ration shop dealers resort to malpractices. They divert the grains to the open market to get a better margin.

16. What is the difference between chronic and seasonal hunger? Write any two.

Answer: Chronic Hunger : When diet is inadequate in terms of quantity or quality, it is called chronic hunger. Usually poor people suffer from chronic hunger because of their low income and as a result their inability to buy food even for their survival. This type of hunger is more or less of a permanent nature and presents throughout the year.

Seasonal Hunger : Seasonal hunger persists only during a particular period of the season. It is linked with the cycles of food growing and harvesting. In rural areas, the seasonal hunger is prevalent because of the seasonal nature of agricultural activities. The gap between the sowing season and the reaping season is marked by seasonal hunger.

17. Which are the people more prone to food insecurity? Explain.

Answer: The people worst affected by food insecurity in India are landless labourers, traditional artisans, providers of traditional services and destitutes including beggars. In the urban areas, the food insecure people are those whose working members are generally employed in ill-paid occuptions and casual labour market. These workers are largely engaged in seasonal activities and are paid very low wages that just ensure bare survival.

18. Describe briefly the measures adopted to achieve self-sufficiency in foodgrains since Independence.

Answer: After Independence, Indian policy makers adopted all measures to achieve self-sufficiency in foodgrains. India adopted a new strategy in agriculture which resulted in Green Revolution especially in the production of wheat and rice.

19. What steps have been taken by the Government of India to provide food security to the poor? Explain any three.

Answer: To provide food security to the poor following steps have been taken by the Government of India :
(i) PDS :- Public Distribution System (PDS) was established for the distribution of food grains among poors.
(ii) ICDS :- Integrated Child Development Services were launched in 1975 to ensure nutrition among children of backward area.
(iii) FFW :- ‘Food for work’ was introduced in 1977-78 to provide employment opportunities for poors to ensure food security for them.

20. Write a note on the role of cooperatives in providing food and related items.

Answer: The cooperatives also play an important role in food security in India, especially in southern and western parts of the country.

(i) They set up shops to sell low price goods to poor people. For example, Mother Dairy in Delhi sells milk and vegetables to consumers at controlled rates decided by the Government of India.

(ii) Cooperatives like Academy of Development Science (ADS) has facilitated a network of NGOs for setting up grain banks. ADS works in Maharashtra. They also organise trainingand capacity building programmes on food security for NGOs. The ADS grain bank programme is acknolwledged as a successful and innonative food security intervention.

21. What is buffer stock? Why is it created by the government?

Answer: Buffer stock is the stock of foodgrains, namely wheat and rice procured by the government through Food Corporation of India (FCI). The FCI purchases wheat and rice from the farmers in states where there is surplus production. The farmers are paid a pre-announced price for their crops. Buffer stock is created to distribute foodgrains in deficit areas and among the poorer strata of society at price lower than the market price. It is also used at a the time of adverse weather conditions.

22. What are famines? Who were the most affected group of devastating famine of Bengal?

Answer: A famine is characterised by widespread deaths due to starvation and epidemics caused by forced use of contaminated water, of decaying food and loss of body resistance due to weakening from starvation. The agricultural labourers, fishermen, transport workers and other casual labourers were affected the most.

23. Why is buffer stock created by the government? Give any three reasons.

Answer: Buffer stock is created due to following reasons:
(i) To distribute food grains in deficit areas.
(ii) To distribute food grains among the poorer strata of society at prices lower than market price.
(iii) To resolve the problem of shortage of food during adverse weather conditions or during the periods of calamity.

24. What is the difference between PDS and TPDS?

Answer: Difference between PDS and TPDS :

The food procured by the FCI is distributed through fair price shops among the poor. This is called public distribution system. There was no discrimination between the poor and non poor under PDS. Under the TPDS, the government has announced separate issue prices for people below poverty line (BPL) and for above poverty line (APL) families. In December 2000, two special schemes were launched to make the TPDS more focussed and targeted towards the poor. These were Antyodayo Anna Yojana (AAY) and the Annapurna Scheme (APS). The two schemes were linked with TPDS.

Under the AAY, poor families were identified by the respective state rural development boards. Twenty-five kilograms of foodgrains were made available to each eligible family at highly subsidised rate of Rs 2 per kg for wheat and Rs 3 per kg for rice. This quantity has been raised from 25 to 35 kg with effect from April 2002.

25. Discuss the role of government in the stabilisation of food grain prices.

Answer: Government’s Measures to Stabilise foodgrain prices.

Our government has adopted the following measures to stabilise food grain prices.

(i) The government has often resorted to import of foodgrains whenever it became necessary. For example, it entered into the PL 480 agreement with USA in 1956 to import food grain to face food crisis in the country.

(ii) It tries to maintain price stability through buffer stocks. It buys foodgrains during crop season when prices fall and sell them when prices tend to rise in times of shortage. Had the government not purchased the food grains, their prices might have fallen due to increased supply in the market. Similarly, in the times of shortage, when these foodgrains are supplied to the consumers at subsidised prices, their prices do not rise much.

26. Explain briefly the measures undertaken by the government to increase the production and supply of foodgrains.

Answer: Government’s measures to increase the production and supply of foodgrains

Main steps undertaken by the government in this regard are as follows :

(i) Land Reform Measures : Our government introduced several land reform measures soon after independence to increase domestic production of foodgrains. These measures included (i) abolition of intermediaries to transfer land to the actual tiller (ii) tenancy reforms to regulate rents paid by the tenants to the landlords (iii) imposition of ceiling on landholdings to procure surplus land for distribution among the landless.

(ii) Provision of Institutional Credit. To provide cheap and adequate agricultural finance many institutional credit agencies were set up. The expansion of institutional credit to farmers were made especially through cooperatives and commercial banks. As a result, the importance of village moneylenders, who used to exploit the farmers by charging high rates of interest, has drastically declined. Initially, only four percent of the total agricultural credit was advanced by cooperatives and commercial banks in 1950-51. Now their percentage share rose to 89 percent in 2004-05.

(iii) New Agricultural Strategy. New agricultural strategy was introduced which resulted in the Green Revolution, especially in the production of wheat and rice. Total production of foodgrain has increased from 50.8 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 212.0 million tonnes in 2003-04.

27. Explain the paradox of excess stocks of food grains and starvation.

Answer: India has experienced a paradoxical situation in recent years. While the granaries of the government are overflowing with excess foodgrain stock, we also find people without food. We, in India, find widespread hunger even when we have excess stock of foodgrains. The main reason for this unfortunate situation is that many poor families do not have enough purchasing power (i.e. money income) to buy food. Over one-fifth of the country’s population suffers from chronic hunger. They have to go to their beds with empty stomach. A good food security network, therefore, should not only ensure adequate physical availability of food but also increase the capabilities of the poor to buy food. To tackle this unfortunate situation, our government has launched several special poverty alleviation programmes. These programmes aim at increasing income of the poor so as to enable them to buy food.

28. Point out the major defects of India’s food security system.

Answer: Defects of India’s Food Security System :

The major flaws/drawbacks of food security system in India are as follows :

(i) Limited Benefit to the Poor. The poor has not benefited much from the PDS. They have depended to a great extent on the open market for most of the commodities. Ration cards are issued only to those households who have proper residential addresses. Hence, a large number of homeless poor could not be covered under the PDS.

(ii) Leakages from PDS. Another defect of PDS relates to the problem of leakages of goods from PDS to open market. The shopkeepers who are running ration shops sell ration in the open market at higher prices instead of selling to ration card-holders at subsidised prices.

(iii) Increase in Prices. The PDS has also failed to protect the poor against price rise. There have been frequent increases in procurement and issue prices. Moreover, excessive buffer stocks of foodgrains has reduced its quantity available in the open market. This has also put an upward pressure on the market prices of food grains.

(iv) Rising Burden of Food Subsidy. PDS is highly subsidised in India. This has put a huge fiscal burden on the government. For example, food subsidy burden has risen from Rs 602 crore in 1980-81 to Rs 25,800 crore in 2003-04.

29. What are the major functions of the Food Corporation of India?

Answer: The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has the following major functions :-
(i) FCI purchases wheat and rice from the farmers in states where there is surplus production.
(ii) They announce Minimum Support Price (MSP) on which government buy the surplus from the farmers.
(iii) They keep the record and maintain the buffer stock.

30. Describe four main advantages of the Public Distribution System.

Answer: The main advantages of Public Distribution System are :-
(i) It is the most effective instrument of government policy over the years in stabilising prices and making food available to consumers at affordable prices.
(ii) It averts widespread hunger and famine by supplying food from surplus regions of the country to the deficit ones.
(iii) It revises the prices of food grains in favour of poor household.
(iv) The declaration of minimum support price and procurement has contributed to an increase in food grains production and provided income security to farmers in certain regions.

31. How does PDS ensure food security in India? Explain.

Answer: PDS or public distribution system distribute the food grains by the help of ration shops among the poorer sections of the society. Presently there are 4.6 lakh ration shops all over the country. Ration shops also known as fair price shops who keep the stock of foodgrains, sugar and cooking kerosene oil. These items are sold to people at a price lower than the market price. Any family with a ration card can buy a stipulated amount of these items (e.g. 35 kg of grains, 5 litres of kerosene, 5 kgs of sugar etc.) every month from the ration shop. PDS keeps on revising the prices in favour of urban poor.

32. What are the problems of the functioning of the ration shops? Describe any four of them.

Answer: The problems of the functioning of the ration shops are:

(i) Irregular opening of ration shops and selling poor quality grains at ration shops.
(ii) Massive unsold foodgrains that piles up at ration shops become a big problem for FCI.
(iii) A family even slightly above poverty line gets very little discounts at ration shop. The prices are almost as high as open market price.
(iv) The category of ration cards and range of prices do not exist now.

33. Describe in four points your awareness about National Food for Work Programme.

Answer: (i) National Food for Work Programme was launched on November 14, 2004 in 150 most backward districts of the country.
(ii) The programme is open to all rural poor who are in need of wage employment and desire to do manual unskilled work.
(iii) It is a 100 percent centrally-sponsored scheme and the food grains are provided to states free of cost.
(iv) For year 2004-05, Rs 2020 crores have been allocated for the programme in addition to 20 lakh tonnes of food grains.

34. Explain how Green Revolution helped India to be self-sufficient in food grain production.

Answer: Green Revolution was a policy adopted by Indian policy makers for the growth in production of wheat and rice. HYV seeds were introduced and there was massive increase in production of wheat and rice. The increase in foodgrains was, however, disproportionate. The highest rate of growth was achieved in Punjab and Haryana, where foodgrain production jumped from 7.23 million tonnes in 1964-65 to reach an all-time high of 30.33 million tonnes in 1995-96. Production of rice was recorded to rise significantly in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

35. Write a note on the role of cooperatives in providing food and related items.

Answer: The cooperatives also play an important role in food security in India, especially in southern and western parts of the country.

(i) They set up shops to sell low price goods to poor people. For example, Mother Dairy in Delhi sells milk and vegetables to consumers at controlled rates decided by the Government of India.

(ii) Cooperatives like Academy of Development Science (ADS) has facilitated a network of NGOs for setting up grain banks. ADS works in Maharashtra. They also organise trainingand capacity building programmes on food security for NGOs. The ADS grain bank programme is acknolwledged as a successful and innonative food security intervention.

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