fbpx Skip to content

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) 2023



  • Keywords: SOFI 2023, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), BRICS nations, Global Food Security Index, National Food Security Act (NFSA), Minimum Support Prices, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), National Horticulture Mission, National Food Processing Mission.


  • Keywords: Food Security, Malnutrition, Global Hunger, Urbanization, Income Disparities, Agriculture, Climate Change, National Security, Poverty Reduction, Infrastructure, Sustainable Agriculture.
  • UPSC Mains Syllabus: Food Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Poverty Reduction, Infrastructure Development.

Why in the News?
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released the ‘State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World’ (SOFI) 2023 report, highlighting concerning food security issues, including those in India.

Key Highlights of the SOFI 2023 Report

Global Hunger:

  • Despite stable global hunger numbers between 2021 and 2022, over 122 million more people worldwide are facing hunger since 2019, attributed to the pandemic, weather shocks, and conflicts, including the Ukraine war.

Nutritional Access:

  • In 2022, approximately 2.4 billion individuals, primarily women and rural residents, lacked consistent access to nutritious, safe, and sufficient food.

Child Malnutrition:

  • Child malnutrition remains high, with 22.3% of children stunted, 6.8% wasted, and 5.6% overweight in 2021.

Urbanization’s Impact on Diet:

  • Urbanization leads to increased consumption of processed foods, causing higher overweight and obesity rates across urban, peri-urban, and rural areas.

Rural Dependence on Global Markets:

  • Rural areas that were once self-sustaining, especially in Africa and Asia, now rely increasingly on national and global food markets.

Regional Trends:

  • Asia saw the highest cost increase for a healthy diet, rising by nearly 9% between 2019 and 2021. South Asia and Eastern and Western Africa face the greatest affordability challenges.

Cost of a Healthy Diet in India:

  • India has the lowest cost of a healthy diet among BRICS nations and neighbors in 2021. However, income disparities make it unaffordable for many.
  • In 2021, 74% of Indians could not afford a healthy diet, ranking India fourth among the nations considered.

Mumbai Case Study:

  • Mumbai witnessed a 65% increase in meal costs in five years, while salaries and wages increased by only 28%-37% during the same period.
  • This case study exemplifies the challenges faced by urban populations in India.

Importance of Ensuring Food Security in India

Meeting Nutritional Needs:

  • Addressing food security is crucial in combating malnutrition and supporting physical and mental growth in India.

Supporting Economic Growth:

  • Agriculture plays a significant role in India’s economy, supporting farmers and driving economic growth.

Reducing Poverty:

  • Food security can reduce poverty by improving overall quality of life and reducing healthcare costs.

Ensuring National Security:

  • Food security is essential for national security, preventing social unrest and political instability.

Combating Climate Change:

  • Adopting sustainable farming practices can help India adapt to climate change and ensure food security.
  • National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013
  • National Food Security Mission
  • National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Platform
  • National Food Processing Mission
  • Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for Agricultural products
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
  • National Horticulture Mission

Challenges of Food Security in India

Inadequate Infrastructure:

  • Lack of infrastructure leads to high wastage and lower profits for farmers.

Poor Agricultural Practices:

  • Inefficient practices reduce soil fertility and crop yields.

Extreme Weather Conditions:

  • Climate change-induced extreme weather impacts food production and prices.

Inefficient Supply Chain Networks:

  • Inefficient networks raise prices for consumers and lower profits for farmers.

Fragmented Landholdings:

  • Fragmented land ownership affects adoption of modern farming practices.

Way Forward

  • Investment in agricultural production systems and research.
  • Improvement of storage and transportation networks.
  • Promotion of public-private partnerships.
  • Encouragement of sustainable agricultural practices.

Ensuring food security in India is vital for the well-being of its population, economic growth, poverty reduction, national security, and resilience against climate change. It requires concerted efforts and innovative approaches to address the challenges faced.

Reference Source: The Hindu

Read More: The Challenge of Affording a Healthy Diet in India

More Link

What's New


Copyright © 2023 UPSC Padhai. All Rights Reserved.