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Excess stocks of the Food Corporation of India must be released to the poor -Jean Drèze

-The Indian Express Jean Dreze writes: Releasing food is all the more crucial as the emergency cash transfers proposed by the finance minister are likely to have severe limitations. How would you feel if a family were to let its weakest members starve, even as the house’s granary is full to the brim? That is what is happening in India today. Everyone knows that the country has large food stocks, and that some...

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Farmers are at their wits’ end -R Ramakumar

-The Hindu As global trade falls and supply disruptions persist, a prolonged lockdown will adversely affect Food Security The COVID-19 pandemic has led to global concerns on the state of agriculture and Food Security. On the one hand, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned of a “food crisis” if countries do not protect vulnerable people from hunger and malnourishment. On the other, farmers face a stalemate as they are unable...

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No ration cards, no food supplies. Hunger stalks rural India -Sayantan Bera The list of PDS beneficiaries has not been updated for over five years and excludes many children and women NEW DELHI : It’s well past lunch hour, but 50-year-old Bitaiya is yet to step into her kitchen. Her meagre supply of wheat flour was scraped clean the night before. So, whether she—a daily wage earner whose husband died of tuberculosis a few years ago—and her two children, seven- and 16-year olds,...

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Utilise FCI stock for those who have ration cards and those who don’t -Siraj Hussain and Ajit Ranade

-The Indian Express The states must engage NGOs, factories and charities including religious organisations to raise funds for meeting the expenditure on milk, eggs, cooking oil and vegetables, and even soaps and sanitisers. Nearly one-fifth of India’s labour force consists of internal migrants. As per the 2011 census, a quarter of the urban population consists of migrants. These tend to be predominantly male, from the less developed northern states, in the lower...

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What Does the COVID-19 Lockdown Mean for Food Security? -Gurpreet Singh At a time when the Rabi crop is ready for harvest and the Kharif crop will be sown, quick and effective policy responses are required. Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, India has announced a nationwide 21-day lockdown, shutting down all businesses except essential services. The government has assured that the supply of food items and other necessities won’t be hindered during this period. While social distancing has been adopted as a measure...

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