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Floods May Not Hamper Prospects For Main Season Crops For 2017: FAO

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has given a snapshot of food security feature in India. The report by FAO suggests mainly below three points

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Economic growth is accompanied by improvements in a country’s food supply, both quantitative and qualitative, and a gradual reduction in nutritional deficiencies. It also brings about changes in production, processing, distribution and marketing of food.

Diets evolve over time and are influenced by factors such as income, prices, individual preferences and beliefs, cultural traditions, as well as geographical, environmental, social and economic factors

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has given a snapshot of food security feature in India. The report by FAO suggests mainly three points:

Prospects For 2017 Main Season Crops Are Favourable, Despite Floods In Northern Areas

Planting of the 2017 main kharif season crops, mostly rice, maize, millet and sorghum, started in June, with the onset of the monsoon rains, and will continue until September. The monsoon rains this year continue to be unevenly distributed so far, resulting in floods in many parts of Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and eastern Uttar Pradesh, while some pockets of south, central and northern regions experienced below-average rains.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cumulative rainfall received until 23 August across the country has been 94 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA), falling below-normal levels. Official estimates, as of 11 August, indicated that 49.78 million hectares had been put under the 2017 main season cereals, up by three per cent compared to the same period in 2016.

Rice Prices Stable, While Those Of Wheat Decrease

Retail prices of rice were mostly stable, due to adequate domestic availability. Prices of wheat and wheat flour decreased in most markets reflecting the record 2017 output and high level of imports in recent months.

Overall Food Security Satisfactory, But Impact Of Floods Heighten Concerns For Affected Population

The overall food security situation in the country is satisfactory given the provision of highly subsidized rice, as well as wheat and coarse grains distributed by the government.

The country is prone to floods during the monsoon season, which normally affect large numbers of people. According to UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA), as of 24 August, floods and landslides in 2017 affected at least 32.1 million people, mostly concentrated in the north-eastern and north-western states, and caused a larger number of casualties. Severe damage to housing and infrastructure, including roads and bridges, was also reported.

In addition, losses of stored food and livestock are likely to be high in the most affected areas, and coupled with disruptions to internal trade, availability and access of food is expected to be constrained. The Government is providing relief assistance to the flood-affected population. As there is no certain way to control floods especially from the rivers of neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh.