FOOD INSECURITY IN KERALA
Kerala is one of the developing states in India. It has rich and varied natural resources and cultural and social heritage. A lot here depends upon the moods of monsoon. This is truer especially for the agricultural sector. A larger part of the arable land in Kerala is rain fed. Never the less, frequent monsoon failures create many problems in relation with poverty and food insecurity. In addition, the failure to secure a balanced diet manifests the low calorie intake and low level of consumption of protein. The continuous existence of underutilized natural resources also makes these problems worse. Everything together creates many socio and economic problems in Kerala.
Poverty and famine are affecting equally to the people of Kerala for a long time. With more than a half century of planning, a continuous agricultural development with new strategy Green Revolution, the production of food gains has no doubt increased enough to meet the need of the people. In other words, a satisfactory picture on food gains seems to emerge over the last few years. Yet the total production of food grains has been inadequate in relation to demand and a large proportion of Kerala people are still unable to obtain a balanced diet.
The food scarcity in Kerala is not merely a quantities problem; it has many aspects, wiz, qualitative, administrative and economical. Inadequate supply of food grains, deficient nutrient content of food, high prices of food grains, strain on foreign exchange, social and political instability etc are some of the different aspects of the food scarcity in Kerala.
The concept of food security has been evolved during the last three decades to include not only foods availability but also economic access to food and the biological absorption of food in the body. Adequate per capita availability of food is a function of the balance between food production on the one hand, and growth in population and purchasing power on the other.
In Kerala food security has been viewed primarily as that of ensuring a certain minimum supply of food grains at reasonable prices, particularly to the poor who generally do not have enough to eat. World development report defined food security as access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food and agriculture organization defined food security as ensuring that all people at all times have both physical and economic access to basic food they need.