Food Security and Nutrition in Kerala : An Exploratory Approach


  • C. Mohammed Kasim Department of Applied Economics, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin-682 022, Kerala


The study attempts a comprehensive analysis of food security problem in Kerala by examining both supply side and demand side factors. On the supply side, trends in food availability in Kerala including domestic production, contribution of Public Distribution System and the extent of external dependence are examined. On the demand side, factors influencing the economic access to food are examined. Further, to analyse the utilisation component of food security, different outcome indicators in the form of nutritional status of adults and children are also studied. The study reveals that the agriculture sector in Kerala has undergone major structural changes by increasing its area under commercial crops and reducing the area under food crops. As a result, food production in Kerala has declined. However, the efficient functioning of Public Distribution System (PDS) ensured food availability in the State. But the policy changes implemented by the Central government since libralisation had adversely affected the efficient functioning of PDS in Kerala and it ultimately resulted in increased external dependence. However, economic access to food improved since per capita GSDP, real income, real wage and land entitlement have improved consistently. Nutritional status of men and women in the State is found to be better and the incidence of under-nutrition among children has declined. Despite the high deficit on the production front what helps the State to achieve better health indicators and lower incidence of poverty is the better economic status. High vulnerability in case of food availability in the State calls for a very urgent policy attention on the production front.


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How to Cite

Mohammed Kasim, C. (2012). Food Security and Nutrition in Kerala : An Exploratory Approach. Journal of Rural Development, 31(4), 513–534. Retrieved from