I-C05 : Food insecurity at different stages of urbanization

Project summary

As described by Deaton and Dreze (2009) India is experiencing a peculiar context of food and nutritional insecurity as measured in the form of calorie intake despite impressive economic growth. It is really puzzling as to why it is prevalent in the country despite apparently sufficient food availability and rising incomes of people since the past two decades. One possible explanation ascribed to the food and nutritional insecurity is the reduced physical activity which calls for lower calorie intake. The present study examines what are the causative factors for this phenomenon. Whether changing life styles especially consumption habits have a bearing on the magnitude and quality of food and nutritional intake across different layers of rural-urban interface. Further, it tries to analyse the nutritional status of women in the family and finally the study attempts to examine whether influence of diversification of production and participation in different marketing channels would improve economic status and minimize food and nutritional insecurity across different households.

The proposed study will be undertaken in rural-urban interface of Bangalore urban conglomerate. The area comprises of three layers of varying degrees of urbanisation: urban, transition and rural areas surrounding the urban conglomerate of Bangalore. The survey approach will be adopted to realise objectives of the study. The sampling frame consists of two transects, north and south, both of which span all three layers. In each region and layer, 200 households representing the three layers will be selected to constitute the total sample size of 1200 households, or which roughly 80% will be agricultural. In depth assessment of food and nutrition intake by the members of household will be undertaken taking ICMR norms as the base and this will be related to changing life styles, income and employment levels of households. The nutrient adequacy will be calculated using ICMR norms and in turn food and nutritional insecurity will be estimated. In addition, anthropometric data will be collected from the members of each household. Using regression analysis framework, factors contributing to food and calorie intake and anthropometric outcomes will be analysed. And this will be linked to household income and diversity of consumption baskets through functional analysis.

The food and nutritional insecurity among women will be assessed using ICMR norms as the base and the insecurity will be related to life styles. Influence of diversity in farm production and market access (in the form of various marketing channels) on food and nutritional intake as well as status of women consumption will be assessed. The results of the study will be useful in understanding the causative factors for nutritional insecurity across different households in the rural urban continuum and will be useful for evolving policies and programs to address food and nutritional insecurity as influenced by various dimensions including changes in life styles and incomes.