Food Problem in India
India is an agricultural country. Nearly three-fourths of the population of India depends upon agriculture and allied occupations. Even then India is faced with the problem of scarcity of food grains. Of course at present the food situation in India has improved. But the future is always uncertain as far as the availability of food is concerned.
There are many causes for the shortage of food in India. The methods of cultivation in India are old-fashioned. The implements used by the farmers are outdated and crude. The seeds which they use are also not of improved quality. The farmer being a very poor person is unable to invest money for the improvement of his fields. The Indian farmers are too poor and ignorant to buy modern tools and implements. Scientific methods of cultivation are not practised. The net result is poor production. The next reason for the food problem is that Indian agriculture is a gamble during the monsoons. Indian farmers still depend on the rain for cultivation. But the rains are very uncertain in India. If the rains are poor, the agriculture suffers. This may cause famine and drought. Similarly, if there is excessive rain, floods play havoc and cause a lot of damage to crops, resulting in famines. Irrigation facilities in India are not widespread.
One of the main causes for the food problem is the increasing population in India: Production of food grains has not increased in proportion to the rise in population. Every year, the population increases by a few crores so that it is very difficult to meet the food requirements. Besides, farmers are more after cash crops than after food crops. The result is that the area under cultivation for food grains has decreased. Hoarders and black marketeers cause artificial food shortages by hoarding food grains. They purchase large quantities of food grains at the time of harvest at cheap rates. They hoard food grains to sell them at black market rates during the time of scarcity. A huge quantity of food grains is also destroyed by pests like rats. Food grains are not distributed properly. In some places the scarcity of food is due to the food habits of .the people. Rice eaters find it difficult to take to wheat eating.