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Indian Agriculture and Food Security: Current Concerns and Lessons

Since its independence in 1947, India has aimed its agricultural development policies at reducing hunger, food insecurity, and poverty. The new strategy of agricultural development launched in the mid-1960s was successful in improving macro (national) food security in a reasonably short period of around two decades. From a precarious situation of heavy dependence on imports of staple food in the mid-1960s, India not only had reduced its imports but also emerged as a net exporter of cereals since the early 1990s. However, while India became a star performer in terms of economic growth in the last decade, its agricultural sector has not performed as well. This happened mainly due to complacency in the matter of production and availability of cereals in the country. Hence, the situation has turned into a serious case of macro food insecurity and farmers' loss of faith in farming around the middle of the current decade. To address the current situation, the government launched special programs in the past three years and took several steps to bring on track the agricultural sector's performance.

Vol. 7 No. 1, June 2010

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