Hyderabad: Food security is a concern that the Central and state governments are attempting to address through the Public Distribution System (PDS).
This World Food Day, the Food and Agricultural Organisation has rightly stressed on the need to raise the profile of the small family farmers. But small and marginal farmers remain a huge concern.
FAO has stressed on the need to improve livelihoods of small farmers and workers. In contrast, a recent Left-sponsored study of land holdings in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh found that even in this day and age, old feudal methods of giving food and clothing for agricultural work still persists. Official figures suggest that 85 per cent of all farmers in Telangana are small and marginal.
Policy makers also need to look at the development models being proposed with research showing that increased development leads to lesser landholding among farmers.
“It can be seen that the land per household of agricultural workers is in inverse proportion to the degree of development of a region. So, it appears as though, the development is distancing agricultural workers (poor) from their land,” stated the research paper by C. Sambi Reddy, N. Venugopal Reddy and others.
The study also says that one-third of the land is held by the top 5 per cent households while the bottom 60 per cent household own less than 10 per cent of the total agricultural land. Women workers are also paid only about 70 per cent of what an male worker is paid and the pay gap is higher in Telanagan than in Andhra Pradesh.
Governments of Telangana and Andra Pradesh also need to address the decreasing food production in the face of increasing population. Production in the two states fell by a staggering 33 lakh tonnes from 2010-11 to 2012-13....