By Orissadiary Correspondent
Bhubaneswar: Planning Commission Member Abhijit Sen released the food security atlas of rural Orissa prepared by the Institute for Human Development, on behalf of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), here on Saturday.
The atlas provides adequate information for providing specific inputs in designing district level interventions. The atlas marks the beginning of a comprehensive food security information system for the State and will enable more rational allocation of resources to the most vulnerable areas for improving the food and nutritional security of the local communities,” said Mihoko Tamamura, WFP Representative and Country Director for India.
According to a WFP release, India 's performance in reducing hunger and malnutrition is not satisfactory and the progress is unequal among the states. Although, literacy and child nutrition levels of Odisha are comparable with the national average, the state lags behind with regard to poverty and child mortality. Further, there are pockets of acute food insecurity and malnutrition within the state, the release said.
The atlas attempts to identify these hotspots to enable policy makers and implementers for targeted actions. These hotspots reflect low female literacy, poor wages, and limited access to healthcare, and safe drinking water. Poor rural connectivity presents an overarching effect on the food insecurity of these deprived geographies.
The atlas explains the factors that contribute to a set of critical outcome indicators such as mortality and prevalence of underweight among children below five years of age. Using these two indicators, the Food Security Outcome Index (FSOI) was developed wherein Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Gajapati, Rayagada and Nuapada are found to be ‘extremely insecure'.
A set of 12 indicators was used to develop a composite Food Security Index (FSI) to explain the FSOI. The FSI stands on the tripod of Food Availability (production factors), Access (to food) and Absorption (utilisation of food). Kandhamal, Gajapati, Rayagada and Nabarangpur are found to be ‘extremely insecure' in terms of FSI.