India is home to a quarter of the world’s hungry people. Since the Green Revolution, the country has produced enough food to feed itself, but it has not yet been able to wipe out mass hunger. Currently, 40 per cent of the population is malnourished – a decline of only 10 per cent in the past three decades.
Stellar economic growth has not delivered on its promise for poverty reduction and food security. Following a series of neoliberal economic reforms in 1991, India’s GDP has doubled, but despite this, 53 million more people now go to bed hungry every night.
To make matters worse, food prices have recently soared. Poor families, who spend more than 60 per cent of their incomes on food, are increasingly struggling to stretch their meagre household budgets.
Unfortunately, small-scale producers have not benefited from high retail prices for food either, as they usually low prices for their produce. Clearly, the country is in the midst of both an agrarian crisis and a nutrition crisis.