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Will farmers get a better deal after recent reforms? -Roshan Kishore

-Hindustan Times India has moved from a food-scarce economy to a net exporter of food. However, food production does not guarantee food security. Affordability is what matters. New Delhi: The government has announced major agricultural policy changes as part of the economic package it has unveiled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. These include deregulation of farm foods from the Essential Commodities Act (ECA). Farmers have also been allowed to sell...

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Only 10% free pulses under govt scheme distributed to poor so far -Harikishan Sharma

-The Indian Express According to sources, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED), which comes under administrative control of the Agriculture Ministry, has been tasked with ensuring supply of pulses from the buffer stocks it maintains. Announced as part of the COVID-19 relief package about a month ago, free pulses — 1 kg per family — to beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) are yet to reach...

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‘More than 100mn excluded from PDS as govt uses outdated Census 2011 data’

-India Spend Team The public distribution system (PDS) is meant to play a key role in disbursing government support to the poorest Indians during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. However, the system leaves more than 100 million people excluded from its reach, as per academics Jean Drèze, Reetika Khera and Meghana Mungikar, because the central government uses 2011 population figures from the last census to calculate state-wise PDS coverage. Under the National Food...

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Survey team led by economist Jean Drèze finds the food distribution system in Jharkhand faulty

-Press release by Right to Food Campaign, Jharkhand chapter, dated 10th April, 2020 Members of the Right to Food Campaign (Jharkhand chapter) conducted a quick survey of essential facilities in rural areas during the first week of April 2020. “Observers” dispersed over 50 blocks in 19 districts of the state were asked to check the local facilities (ration shops, dal-bhat kendras, anganwadis, among others) and report their observations over the phone....

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Excess stocks of the Food Corporation of India must be released to the poor -Jean Drèze

-The Indian Express Jean Dreze writes: Releasing food is all the more crucial as the emergency cash transfers proposed by the finance minister are likely to have severe limitations. How would you feel if a family were to let its weakest members starve, even as the house’s granary is full to the brim? That is what is happening in India today. Everyone knows that the country has large food stocks, and that some...

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