Occasional Paper: 81
Achieving self-sufficiency in foodgrain production by 2012, reduction of prices of essential commodities, and poverty reduction were amongst the most important election pledges of the new government. These commitments are of complementary nature. Attainment of food security at the national and household level can contribute towards fulfilling the above mentioned three commitments. Attaining food security at the national level depends on the availability of food from domestic production and imports from the international markets, whereas food security at the household level depends not only on availability of food, but also on the ability to purchase food by the household. Households with adequate income can buy food from the market if it is available, but low-income households face problems to buy food when food prices are high. For such low-income groups, government distributes food through priced channels such as Open Market Sale (OMS), and non-priced channels like Vulnerable Group Development (VGD), Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF), Food for Works (FFW), etc. Therefore, a major challenge of the government is to balance the interest of producers and consumers through government procurement and Public Food Distribution System (PFDS). This paper attempts to arouse interest for an integrated strategy for food security through higher Boro production. It discusses input delivery strategy needed for higher Boro production as well as a mechanism for public procurement and distribution of foodgrains to ensure social protection and social safety net.