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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: India’s G20 presidency and food security

Source: The Hindu

 

  • Prelims:Current events of international importance, G20, G7 etc.
  • Mains GS Paper II:Significance of G20 countries, Bilateral, regional and global grouping and agreements involving India or affecting India’s interests.

 

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Global and regional food security have been deliberated upon as one of the priority agendas of the G20.
  • After Indonesia, Indiawill assume the presidency of G20 from December 2022.

 

Current Affairs

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

G20:

  • The G20 is an informal group of 19 countries and the European Union, with representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  • The G20 Presidency rotates annually: according to a system that ensures a regional balance over time.
  • For the selection of the presidency: 19 countriesare divided into 5 groups, each having no more than 4 countries.
    • The presidency rotates between each group.
  • Every year the G20 selects a country from another group to be president.
    • India is in Group 2 which also has Russia, South Africa, and Turkey.
  • The G20 does not have a permanent secretariat or Headquarters.

 

Present global issues:

  • Growing conflicts
  • Climate crises marked by droughts, floods, cyclones etc
  • Economic downturns

 

Matera Declaration, 2021 by G20:

  • Keys to end hunger: G20 ministers recognised that poverty alleviation, food security, and sustainable food systems are key to ending hunger.
  • It reflects the Indian concern: for the welfare of small & medium farmers, promoting local food cultures and recognising agri-diversity.
  • Emphasized on keeping international food trade open: Strengthening global, regional, and local diversified value chains for safe, fresh, and nutritious food.
  • One health approach: Promoting a science-based holistic One Health approach.

 

Steps taken by India towards food security:

  • National Food Security Act, 2013
  • Mid-day meal scheme
  • Integrated Child Development Services

 

Post-Independence steps by India towards agriculture:

  • Policy measures
  • Land reforms
  • Public investments
  • Institutional infrastructure
  • New regulatory systems
  • Intervention in agri-markets and prices
  • Agri-research and extension

 

1991-2015 period(Diversification of agriculture):

  • Greater focus to:
    • Horticulture
    • Dairy
    • Animal husbandry
    • Fisheries sectors.

 

During Covid:

  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana: It aims at ensuring sufficient food for the poor and needy during the Covid.

 

For farmers:

  • Institutionalizedbuying grains from farmers
  • Food stocks: Strategic reserves for national food security.
  • Minimum support price(MSP): It has encouraged farmers to produce, and protects them from financial fluctuations

 

For global food security(despite climate change and a sudden decline in wheat and rice production):

  • India formally announced an export ban on wheat and rice.
    • However, maintained a flexible approach to help countries like Afghanistan with humanitarian aid
    • Commercial supplies to Bangladesh, Egypt, Yemen.

 

UN Food Systems Summit(held by the G20): Five identified action tracks:

  • Safe and nutritious food: Ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all
  • Sustainable consumption: Shift to sustainable consumption patterns
  • Production: Boost nature-positive production
  • Livelihood: Advance equitable livelihoods
  • Build resilienceto vulnerabilities, shocks, and stress.

 

What steps need to be taken?

  • Investment: Greater investment in agriculture
  • Food safety netsfor the poor and vulnerable
  • Farming: New ways of farming
  • Diversified livelihoods

 

Way Forward

  • Opportunity for India:Share its successful journey in moving from a food-deficit nation to a food-surplus nation
  • Food security: Address the growing challenges of food security for creating resilient and equitable food systems.
  • Mechanism of purchases of cereals from farmers: Government was able to provide a swift and resilient response to the COVID-19 pandemic, avoid supply chain disruption and economic shock.
  • Sustainable Development Goals by 2030: There is an opportunity to fast-track the processes and commitments that were started through the pioneering UN Food Systems Summit for global food systems transformation.
  • War in Ukraine: Led to vulnerability in foodgrain production and supply or in the availability with regards to exports
    • It will raise the growing demand for India’s wheat and rice.
  • South-south cooperation:We need to expand south-south cooperation to share experiences on food and agriculture production and make expanded efforts to share India’s experiences for countries in Africa and Asia.

 

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

  1. The long sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalized nations has disappeared on account of its new found role in the emerging global order.’ Elaborate(UPSC 2019)

(200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)