Legislative Comment: The National Food Security Act, 2013: A Critique by George K. Jose

The National Food Security Act, 2013

Aims to provide for food and nutritional security by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to the people to live a life with dignity.  It also provides ways and means for the revitalization of agriculture in the country. While the Act specifically calls for revitalization of agriculture, the state and central governments are handing over agriculture to the corporate sector. The massive migration of people from rural areas to the towns abandoning agricultural sector and alarming numbers of suicides by farmers across the country adds to the urgency in the matter. Objectives of Food Security Act and the agricultural corporatization by the Government of India in tune with the demands of WTO and globalization seem incompatible. Encouraging corporate interest in agriculture may destroy the very objectives of Food Security Act. It is necessary to understand the various incompatibilities between food security and revitalization of agriculture as mandated by the Constitution on one side and corporatization of agriculture under the pressures of globalization on the other. One has to find an ingenious approach to WTO conditions that currently turn Indian agriculture into a multi- national business for profit alone.

 The Indian National Food Security Act, 2013, (also known as the Right to Food Act) is a legislative measure of the Government of India to guarantee subsistence and nourishment to nearly 67% of its 1.2 billion populations. This herculean task attempts to secure more than 70 million Indians from the threat of starvation. More than six decades after its independence, India now offers a guarantee to its people that of providing them with very first of basic human need, i.e. food. By enacting Right to Food legislation India is also on its way to fulfill its commitment to one of the Universal Human Rights.

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