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Food Security Atlas of Rural India: An Overview

Project Sponsors:UN World Food Programme (WFP)
Project Director:Professor Dev Nathan and Dr. Preet Rustagi
Project Research Team, IHD:Dr. Sandip Sarkar, Dr. Abhay Kumar and Dr. Sunil Kumar Mishra
Project Research Team, WFP: Pradnya Paithankar, Bal Paritosh Dash

Objective: This study comprises a consolidated analysis of eight states, namely, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (UP). The purpose of the study was to identify the regions and districts that require priority attention in order to improve their food security status. This was followed by an identification of the characteristics that differentiate the better-off districts from the worse-off ones. These characteristics of the food-insecure regions and districts have been used to compile a set of possible interventions that could be expected to improve food security in the designated states.

Findings: It has been found during the conduction of the study that the food-insecure districts actually fall into distinct regions. The specific regions that were identified as the priority areas needing attention are the western desert region of Rajasthan, the semi-arid Deccan plateau of Maharashtra, and parts of the Gangetic Plains of Bihar and UP. The desert and semi-arid Deccan plateau regions are generally noted for the depressed agrarian conditions of the 281 districts belonging to the eight states under study, and all the districts of Jharkhand, while a majority of the districts in MP, Odisha and Chhattisgarh figure among the most food-insecure districts.