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Interventions under National Food Security Mission

  • 12 Aug 2023
  • 9 min read

For Prelims: National Food Security Mission,Green Revolution, National Mission on Edible Oils - Oil Palm, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Climate change, Malnutrition

For Mains: Major Interventions Under National Food Security Mission, Major Challenges Related to Food Security in India.

Source: PIB

Why in News?

  • Recently, the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare provided valuable insights into the developments under the National Food Security Mission during a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

What is the National Food Security Mission?

  • About:
    • National Food Security Mission (NFSM) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme launched in 2007 based on the recommendations of the agriculture sub- committee of National Development Council (NDC).
      • The committee pointed out the need for improved agricultural extension services, technology transfer and decentralized planning as a result of which NFSM was conceptualized as a mission mode program.
  • Thrust Areas:
    • Sustainable increase in the production of targeted crops such as rice, wheat, pulses primarily and then extended to coarse cereals, nutri-cereals, and oilseeds as well.
    • Restoration of soil fertility and productivity at the individual farm level.
    • Rise in farm level net income.

What are the Major Interventions Under the National Food Security Mission?

  • Cluster Demonstrations and Improved Practices: Assistance is extended to farmers through States/Union Territories to conduct cluster demonstrations that showcase improved packages of agricultural practices.
    • These demonstrations highlight techniques for optimized crop cultivation and management.
  • Seed Production and Distribution: High-yielding varieties and hybrids are developed, produced, and distributed to farmers to enhance the quality and quantity of agricultural output.
  • Farm Mechanization and Resource Conservation: The implementation of modern and efficient farm machinery and resource conservation tools fosters enhanced agricultural practices while optimizing resource utilization.
    • Investments in processing and post-harvest equipment enhance the overall value chain and reduce post-harvest losses.
  • Plant Protection and Nutrient Management: Measures to safeguard crops against pests and diseases, coupled with effective nutrient management and soil amelioration strategies, contribute to healthy plant growth.
  • Focused Approach to Oilseeds Production: To bolster oilseed production and achieve self-sufficiency in edible oil, the NFSM-Oilseeds initiative is designed. It involves:
    • Seed Subsidies and Distribution: Financial incentives and subsidies facilitate the purchase and distribution of quality seeds, ensuring better crop yields.
    • Demonstrations and Training: Block demonstrations, front-line demonstrations, and cluster front-line demonstrations serve as platforms for showcasing effective oilseed cultivation practices.
    • Infrastructure and Input Distribution: Provision of essential resources like water-carrying devices, plant protection equipment, soil enhancers, micro-nutrients, and bio-agents fortifies oilseed cultivation.


  • National Mission on Edible Oils - Oil Palm (NMEO-OP): To reduce edible oil imports led to the establishment of NMEO-OP in August 2021.
    • The mission emphasizes the expansion of oil palm cultivation, aiming to augment crude palm oil production, increase productivity, and ease the country's import burden.
  • Water Management for Sustainable Agriculture:
    • Per Drop More Crop (PDMC): Launched in 2015-16, PDMC focuses on water use efficiency through micro-irrigation systems like drip and sprinkler irrigation.
      • It also emphasizes the adoption of location-specific scientific techniques and modern agronomic practices.
    • Command Area Development & Water Management (CADWM): Part of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, CADWM aims to enhance irrigation efficiency.
      • It includes the construction of lined field channels and underground pipelines for last-mile connectivity.
    • Bureau of Water Use Efficiency (BWUE): Established to regulate efficient water use in various sectors, the BWUE promotes strategies to improve water use efficiency in irrigation, industries, and domestic settings.
    • National Water Mission (NWM): NWM launched the 'SahiFasal'campaign in 2019, which encourages farmers in water-stressed regions to cultivate crops that are economically viable, water-efficient, and aligned with agro-climatic conditions.

What are the Major Challenges Related to Food Security in India?

  • Agricultural Challenges: India's agricultural sector is vulnerable to various challenges such as unpredictable weather patterns due to climate change, pest infestations, and soil degradation.
    • These factors can lead to reduced crop yields and contribute to food scarcity.
  • Land Fragmentation: Subdivision of land due to inheritance laws has led to small and fragmented land holdings.
    • This hampers the adoption of modern farming techniques and technologies that could increase productivity.
  • Lack of Diversification: Over-reliance on a few staple crops limits dietary diversity. A diverse diet is essential for proper nutrition, and the emphasis on a few crops like rice and wheat can contribute to malnutrition.
  • Rising Food Prices: Fluctuations in global and domestic food prices can make essential food items unaffordable for vulnerable populations.
    • Supply chain disruption led price volatility can lead to sudden spikes in food insecurity.

Way Forward

  • Agro-Ecological Zoning: Create detailed agro-ecological zoning maps using advanced geospatial analysis.
    • This would help identify the most suitable crops for specific regions based on their natural characteristics, thus optimizing resource use and reducing the risk of crop failure.
  • Edible Landscaping in Urban Areas: Encourage urban residents to convert their lawns and unused spaces into edible landscapes, growing fruits and vegetables.
    • This decentralized approach contributes to local food production and enhances community involvement.
  • Nutrient Recovery from Wastewater: Implement systems to extract nutrients from wastewater and organic waste, then convert these nutrients into fertilizers.
    • This reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers and tackles water pollution simultaneously.
  • Artificial Intelligence Pest Detection: Develop AI-powered cameras and sensors that can detect pest and disease outbreaks early by analyzing subtle changes in plant health, allowing for targeted interventions and reducing the need for widespread pesticide use.
  • Integrated Energy Farming: Combine agriculture with renewable energy production.
    • Solar panels can be placed above crops, providing shade and reducing water evaporation, while generating clean energy to power agricultural equipment.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. With reference to the provisions made under the National Food Security Act, 2013, consider the following statements: (2018)

  1. The families coming under the category of ‘below poverty line (BPL)’ only are eligible to receive subsidized food grains.
  2. The eldest woman in a household, of age 18 years or above, shall be the head of the household for the purpose of issuance of a ration card.
  3. Pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to a ‘take-home ration’ of 1600 calories per day during pregnancy and for six months thereafter.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
2 only
1 and 3 only
3 only

Ans: (b)


Q.1 In what way could replacement of price subsidy with Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) change the scenario of subsidies in India? Discuss. (2015)

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