India has been ranked 66, much lower than neighbouring China, in the 2012 Global Food Security Index released on Thursday by the American chemical company DuPont. According to the report, India is protein and vitamin-A deficit nation. Not everyone in India can afford nutritious food, the report indicated.
The report showed India scored the highest in food availability (51.3) but lowest (38.4) in terms of food access.
"India is ranked 66 in the list of 105 countries, scoring slightly higher in the category of 'availability' than in other two categories of 'affordability' and 'quality and safety'," US-based DuPont Executive Vice President James C Borel said after the launch of the index. The country is placed in moderate category.
Although India's food security level is lower than China (ranked 39) and Sri Lanka (62), it is much better than Pakistan (75) and Bangladesh (81), the index findings showed. High level of poverty, lower income, less public spending on farm research, poor infrastructure, sluggish supply of quality protein are some of the key challenges that India need to address, it noted.
With India expected to be the most populous country in the world by 2025, feeding the population is likely to be one of the serious challenges that the country will face in the coming decades, it said.
However, presence of food safety net programmes and access to farm credit has helped the country achieve some level of food security, it added.
The 2012 Global Food Security Index, developed by the Economicst Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by DuPont, ranks 105 countries in accordance to their relative level of food security in three categories -- affordability, availability and quality and safety.
According to EIU regional Director Pratiba Thaker, "Apart from the challenges of availability and accessibility as reflected in chronic household food insecurity, India also faces a nutrition challenge. India's nutrition level is lower than the neighbouring Pakistan due to large percentage of population being vegetarian."
Highlighting the importance of the Food Security Index, DuPont South Asia President Rajeev Vaidya said: "It should be used as a tool to help stakeholders make informed decisions that drive sustainable results at a local level."
To address global food security challenge, DuPont also announced investment of USD 10 billion in farm research and development and advancing 4,000 new products by 2020.
• GDP($PPP) ----3,985 billion
• Population -----1,202 million
• Land Area -----2,973,190 sq km
• Prevalence of undernourishment ----19 %
• Intensity of food deprivation ----240 kcal/person/day
• Human Development Index ----0.55 Rating 0-1
Score / 100 Strengths
• 100 Nutritional standards
• 89.9 Volatility of agricultural production
• 79.6 Food safety
• 75.4 Prevalence of undernourishment
• 75 Presence of food safety net programs
• 75 Access to financing for farmers
"Strengths" are defined as any indicator score above 75.0
Challenges for India
• 0 Public expenditure on agricultural R&D
• 5.8 Gross domestic product per capita
• 15.4 Protein quality
Read the report
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