Food demand in India is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades due to the large population and income increases, expanding urbanization, and dietary trend changes. Simultaneously, Indias food self-sufficiency is expected to face significant challenges due to decreasing rates of agricultural productivity growth, scarce natural resources, and climate change. In2018,India has 76th Rank in Global Food security Index according to The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited.
Food Security challenges in India
Challenge1:Government need to collect food demand information from various data sources, including household data on dietary patterns and consumer expenditures about food demand in 2030 for various food grains (rice, wheat, pulses and coarse grains) and high-value commodities (oils, animal products-meat/fish, sugar, milk products and horticultural products) .Based on these demand and supply estimates, Govt need to understand the potential domestic supply-demand surpluses and deficits for the various crops . Develop or revise Government policies and investments to support increased agricultural productivity (including in irrigation, infrastructure, and agricultural research and inputs), especially in a context of scarce resources and climate change, are crucial to keep long-run balances between Indias food demand and supply.
Solution1: India needs integrated Information technology products and applications like Block chain technology , IoT, Artificial Intelligence to solve food security issues. We need to develop new business models i.e. Joint ventures between IT industries and Food Value chain Industries for the excellency in food security solutions.
Challenge 2:Food wastage in India is happening at every level; from harvesting, transporting, processing, packaging and consuming., it is estimated by the UN that nearly 40% of the food produced in India is wasted or lost and this cost India one lakh crore rupees every year.
Solution 2:We need to address Food wastage through targeted campaigns like Weddings, events, restaurants, hostels and houses are a major source for food wastage of cooked food.
Challenge 3: Climate Change , Overall India temperature increases are predicted to reduce rice yields. An increase of 2-4C is predicted to result in a reduction in yields, Carbon foot print 8.4% in India from food wastage which equivalent to transport emissions, We need to adopt alternative emerging techniques the entire food value chain.
Solution 3 :Precision in climate change prediction with higher resolution on spatial and temporal scale, Linking of predictions with agricultural production systems to suggest suitable options for sustaining agricultural production Preparation of a database on climate change impacts on agriculture;
Evaluation of the impacts of climate change in selected locations; and
Development of models for pest population dynamics.
Challenge 4 :Water is a critical input into agriculture in nearly all its aspects having a determining effect on the eventual yield. Adequate availability of water is important for animal husbandry as well.
Fisheries are, of course, directly dependent on water resources. The increasing demands on water resources by Indias burgeoning population and diminishing quality of existing water resources
Solutions 4 : construct numerous check dams so as to mitigate water supply & at the same time raise the ground water level. Another method is to make coastal canals all along the interior of the coast line to prevent salinity ingress & at the same time raise water table. Recharging of ground water through rains is another method of recharging. Construction of more dams across rivers is still not enough in India. Recycling of domestic water is not carried out to the extent needed in India. Simple evaporation & condensation of seawater at least along coastal belt will mitigate the problem to an extent. Interlinking of rivers is still in the planning stage. This needs to be speeded up.
Challenge 5 : Food safety in India, food-borne diseases can be erratic and often go unreported, Approx. 13.2% of households reported food-borne illness (Kohli and Garg 2015). Food safety is an important social and health priority for any country. In India, the food processing industry holds tremendous opportunity. It has high employment potential, can boost exports of agro-products out of the country, and also provide better returns to farmers for their produce. However, this is possible only if food safety standards are effectively enforced in the country.
Food today claims Organic food , Vegan Food , Health claims etc. which are creating confusion to consumer right food choice
Solution 5 : Urban Forming is best solutions for futuristic demands, By using hydroponics, cocopeat gardening and other soilless techniques and fresh produce (lettuce, rocket, basil and mushrooms), it also runs programmes to train people (in schools and societies). Attempt to educate urban dwellers to use a technology which takes less space, demands lesser water and is completely free from pathogens and biological contaminants.