Agriculture and Food Security
Agriculture continues to play a crucial role in India, given that a majority of the country’s population depends on this sector for livelihood. As is well-known, in the recent years, agriculture sector in most developing countries has been experiencing a lot of difficulties. Inadequate attention for the rural areas in general and agriculture sector in particular in public investment over the recent decades is believed to be one of the factors underlying the agrarian distress in such countries.
The problems in agriculture sector in India, however, are not uniform across the country. While the diverse agro-climatic conditions of the country require specialised public investment policies, some of the agricultural policy analysts have also opined that state-directed policies over the last few decades have aggravated the problems of agriculture in the dryland or rain-fed regions in the country.
Ensuring food security for the country’s large population with domestically grown food-grain also requires greater attention in terms of prioritising public investment in this sector. Provisioning for food security through subsidy has gained importance after the enactment of National Food Security legislation in 2013, but issues like the functioning of institutions, procurement and distribution process along with sustainability of the provisions require in-depth analysis.
CBGA focuses on issues – pertaining to adequacy of resource allocation and spending, patterns of fund flow and fund utilisation, and the challenges pertaining to these – in various programmes and schemes meant for agriculture and allied sectors. We undertake detailed analysis of the provisioning towards food security in the Union and State budgets, along with primary research on the functioning of the Public Distribution System in the country.