Punjab is a state that has always stood tall when it comes to farming capabilities. Figures assert that the state is presently the richest source of production nationwide and has been successful in implementing the Food Security Act. The National Food Security Act 2013 was implemented to provide subsidized food to needy people in the country so that the entire population has access to supply of food.
In a recent meeting of the State Food Ministers held at New Delhi, Punjab was praised by Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, for making food security a reality in the state and becoming the first state in the country to achieve the same. He said in the meeting that Punjab has truly understood the spirit of the Food Security Act. Further he asserted that Punjab is one state that can guide other states for systematic implementation of this act.
As a matter of fact, Punjab has been able to deliver food to the people in every corner of the state including those in the remote areas. What makes Punjab a torch-bearer state in this category is the fact that it has successfully implemented the online and systematic monitoring of the Act. This has been achieved by linking the beneficiaries with Aadhaar card and guaranteeing complete quality control. No other state in the country has been able to achieve this status yet.
History suggests that food security has always remained an issue. Evidence states that granaries existed even over 10,000 years ago. In World Food Conference 1974, Food Security was defined as “availability at all times of adequate world food supplies of basic foodstuffs to sustain a steady expansion of food consumption and to offset fluctuations in production and prices”. With time two other issues were added to it and these were demand and access.
In India several schemes including Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services Scheme and the Public Distribution System have been implemented with an idea of achieving food security. Punjab has proved to be one of the most successful states in achieving the target. In fact, Punjab was the first state in the country to issue e-ration cards to the beneficiaries, making the process extremely efficient and effective. E-ration card program was designed to ensure that only the deserving and genuine beneficiaries get access to subsidized ration.
Farmers of Punjab have access to fertilizer subsidy, improved irrigation facilities, agriculture tools at subsidized rates and agriculture development program. Punjab Agricultural University runs special programs and organizes annual get-together under the guidance of the State government to help farmers by giving them training in use of new tools and provide them improved seeds. It is all due to relentless support of the government that the state is prosperous in its farming capabilities and has achieved one of a kind status by implementing Food Security Act completely.