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Food Security

Sustainability of food security is an important objective that underlies the entire gamut of work undertaken by the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation. However, the Food Security programme area was established as a separate entity within the Foundation only in the year 2004-2005, under the aegis of the B V Rao Centre for Sustainable Food Security and the Ford Foundation Chair for Women and Sustainable Food Security. This Programme Area is guided by the following vision and mission statements:

Vision: “A society where food and nutrition security are guaranteed to all citizens and in a sustainable manner”

Mission: “Ensuring food and nutrition security of marginalized sections by promotion of specific focused interventions, research and advocacy”

MSSRF’s programme on food security has two major inter-related elements: Research and Community Based Interventions.

The ambit of research work includes three broad areas:

  • studies on macro issues based largely on secondary sources of data;
  • participatory research with the community for development of new approaches/ methodologies/ techniques and for identifying areas needing policy interventions
  • studies to understand the ground level reality in locations where our community based interventions are being implemented.

While the first two elements of research provide larger scope for advocacy among policy makers, the latter would provide insights for strengthening our community based interventions.

Community based interventions initiated by the Food Security programme area have focused on promoting household food security, among the socially and economically deprived sections in society, through various initiatives. These interventions have addressed one or more dimensions of food security, namely, food availability, access and absorption. Some examples of interventions that have addressed food availability are facilitation for cultivation of food grains and promotion of kitchen gardens; some initiatives that improved access to food are establishment of community food grain banks and strengthening agricultural livelihoods of women farmers; and activities that focused on enhancing food absorption are the community hunger fighter initiative where local volunteers are trained to spread health and hygienic practices among the community and facilitation for government entitlements regarding drinking water, sanitation etc.