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National Food for Work Programme and Antyodaya Anna Yojana

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India is suffering from what is known as the “triple affliction” of malnutrition. There is evidence gathered from national surveys as well as smaller studies that emphasize this issue. According to the National Family Health Survey (2005–06), one-third of married women in India have a lower BMI (Body Mass Index). This also indicated that 28% of men were added to the same class. Undernutrition is caused by a variety of factors, but food security is at the heart of the problem.

Food security is defined as a situation in which all people have physical, economic, and social access to adequate, nutritious, and safe food. Furthermore, the program works to meet their dietary needs and food preferences in order for them to live a healthy life.

Food security in India refers to nutritional security as well as the fulfillment of individual capabilities. Furthermore, people are the primary focus, even though community- or household-level food security is an appropriate concern.

How is food security ensured in India?

Food security can be ensured in any country if the three dimensions of food security are examined as,

  • First, there is food availability: there is enough food for everyone.
  • Second, food accessibility: the absence of barriers to food access.
  • Third, food affordability: the ability of all people to purchase food of acceptable quality. 

Food security programs in India

The food corporation of India has been established by the Indian Government for the purchase of wheat and rice from the farmers to build a buffer stock. Even the government of India has opened more than 4.6 lakh Fair price shops or ration shops to distribute food to needy people at a reasonable price. They also have started many Food distribution schemes like mid-day meals and Antyodaya Anna Yojana.

The two important schemes that are launched by the Indian Government for Food security are:

  1. National Food For Work Programme, and 
  2. Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY).

Let’s discuss them in detail.

National Food for Work Programme

On November 14, 2004, the Planning Commission, in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development and State Governments, started the National Food for Work Program in 150 of the country’s poorest regions. 

The National Food for Work Program’s goal is to provide additional services to the country’s 150 most impoverished districts, in addition to the resources available under the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY), in order to intensify the generation of supplementary wage jobs and the provision of food security in these districts by developing economic, social, and community assets that are dependent on need.

The major points related to the above-mentioned program are:

  • The project was entirely sponsored locally. Since then, NREGA has taken over the program and is now in use in 200 of the country’s districts, including 150 NFWP districts.
  • The Act guarantees 100 days of work to every rural household whose members agree to conduct unskilled manual labor. 
  • Water conservation, dryness management (including forestation and tree planting), land growth, flood control/protection (including irrigation of logged water regions), and all-weather rural road connectivity are all permissible operations. Many related works may also be completed.
  • For each post, a monitoring committee of 5-9 nominated representatives shall be constituted, with at least one SC/ST nominee and a female representation. The Gram Sabha will be responsible for appointing the members of the committee. The task won’t start until the oversight committee is established. Along with the certificate of completion, the oversight committee is anticipated to submit its report. 
  • Each district must develop and submit monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports to the state government. The planning commission has identified the 150 most backward districts based on agricultural productivity per worker, agricultural wage rate, and SC/ST population. These districts have been formed in 27 states. 
  • Foodgrains are provided free of charge to the states. Transportation costs, handling fees, and food grain taxes, on the other hand, will be the responsibility of the states.
  • It has always been preferable to provide food grains at no cost rather than distribute the money among them. The eligibility criteria were relaxed to include both low-income and high-income families.
  • At the district level, the collector serves as the primary or nodal officer, with overall responsibility for planning, implementation, coordination, monitoring, and supervision.
  • In addition to 18 million tonnes of food grains, a budget of 2,020 crores (US$270 million) has been set aside for the program in 2004-2005.
  • Workplace meals are provided, and wages are paid on a daily basis. Since then, the program has been incorporated into the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) of 2005, which has been implemented in 200 identified districts across the country, including 150 NFFWP districts.
  • NREGA is now the most important right-based employment-guarantee scheme in the country.

Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)

AAY was a step toward TPDS focusing on hunger reduction among the lowest portions of the BPL population. According to a National Sample Survey Exercise, around 5% of the overall population of the country sleeps without two square meals every day. This group of people might be described as “hungry.”

The “Antyodaya Anna Yojana” (AAY) was started in December 2000 for one crore of the poorest of the poor households in order to make the TPDS more focused and targeted towards this group of people. 

  • The important features of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) are discussed in the following points as mentioned below:
  • AAY has to first identify one crore of the poorest of the poor households from among the BPL families covered by the TPDS in each state.
  • Provide grains at a heavily subsidized rate of Rs. 2 per kg for wheat, Rs. 3 for rice, and Rs. 1 for coarse grains.
  • States/UTs were responsible for all costs associated with distribution, shipping, and dealer margins.
  • The selected households will get 35 kg of food grains every month.
  • Since then, the number of impoverished families has risen to 2.5 crores, including homes headed by terminally sick or widowed people, handicapped people, or those aged 60 and up who have no means of subsistence. 
  • Since then, the AAY Scheme has grown to cover 2.50 crore of the poorest of the poor households, as follows:
    • In 2003-04, the AAY Scheme was enlarged to include an additional 50 lakhs BPL households headed by widows, terminally sick people, handicapped people, or those aged 60 and up who had no alternative means of sustenance or societal support. On the 3rd of June, 2003, an order was issued to such effect. With this expansion, the AAY now covers 1.5 crore people (or 23% of BPL families).
    • The AAY was enlarged by additional 50 lakh BPL families, as stated in the Union Budget 2004-05, by incorporating, among other things, all homes at risk of starvation. On the 3rd of August, 2004, an order was issued to such effect. 

Sample Questions

Question 1: How green revolution helps food security?


Due to the following reasons the green revolution helps food security:

  1. Because of green revolution Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh achieved higher rise in rice yield .
  2. This also helps the government of India to build buffers stock .

Question 2: Give two importance of Public distribution system?


The importance of PDS are:

  • Distribute food grains to the poorer people at low rate .
  • Helps in decline of hoarding and black marketing

Question 3: In India, the people of which states are more food insecure?


The states which are economically backward like Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and some parts of Madhya pradesh are the largest number of food insecure people in the country.

Question 4: Why is hunger such a crucial indicator of food insecurity?


Hunger is an important aspect of indicating food insecurity because its just not a expression of poverty but its bring the poverty as person is unable to feed their family without the proper facilities of life people get migrated to city for the betterment of their family .

Question 5: What are the adverse effects of the public distribution system on the environment?


This adverse effect is because of the incentive by government, most of the state farmers are producing only wheat and rice which leads to intensive utilisation of water in the cultivation of rice. This excessive use of water has led to the environmental degradation and fall in the water level, threatening the sustainability of the agricultural development in many states .

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Last Updated : 29 Mar, 2022
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