Multiseed Farming Technique: A Panacea for Food Insecurity Among Tribes in Kerala


  • P. K. Sujathan Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, KKTM Government College, Pullut, Kodungallur, Thrissur(Dt), Kerala.
  • Prasad M.G Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, R.G.M Government College, Attappady, Palakkad (Dt), Kerala.



Multiseed Farming Technique, MSFT, Food Security, Tribes, Kerala.


This paper analyses the impact and implications of the traditional multiseed farming technique (MSFT) among tribes on their food security in the Attappady block of Kerala State. Using the definition of food security by the United States Department of Agriculture, the study corroborated that the problem of ‘Very Low Food Security’ is persistent among such tribes not engaged in MSFT. The paper makes a strong pitch for the government to overhaul the extant schemes and play the role of a facilitator to enable all tribes to engage in MSFT which is a panacea towards accomplishing food security among them.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

P. K. Sujathan, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, KKTM Government College, Pullut, Kodungallur, Thrissur(Dt), Kerala.

Assistant Professor

Dept of Economics

Government Victoria College

Palakkad district



Abbasi, N., Ghoochani O. M., Ghanian M. (2016). Assessment of households’ food insecurity through use of a USDA questionnaire, Adv Plants Agric Research,4(5), 379‒386. DOI:

Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo.(2013). Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, Journal of International Development, 25(7), 1026-1028 DOI:

Adepoju, A. O., & Adejare, K. A. (2013). Food Insecurity Status of Rural Households During the Post Planting Season in Nigeria. 2013 Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia, Article 160140.

Babatunde, R.O., Omotesho O.A., Olorunsanya E.O., Owotoki GM. (2008). Determinants of Vulnerability to Food Insecurity: A Gender-based Analysis of Farming Households in Nigeria, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics., 63(1), 116–125.

Belachew, T., Lindstrom, D., Gebremariam, A., Jira, C., Hattori, M. K., Lachat, C., Huybregts, L., & Kolsteren, P. (2012). Predictors of chronic food insecurity among adolescents in Southwest Ethiopia: A longitudinal study. BMC Public Health, 12(1), 604. DOI:

Bijoy, C. R. (1999). Adivasis Betrayed: Adivasi Land Rights in Kerala, Economic and Political Weekly, 34 (22), 1329-35.

Cafiero C, Viviani S, & Nord M. (2018): Food Security Measurement in a Global Context: The Food Insecurity Experience Scale. Measurement. 116,146–152 DOI:

Carlson, S. J., Andrews, M. S., & Bickel, G. W. (1999). Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger in the United States: Development of a National Benchmark Measure and Prevalence Estimates. The Journal of Nutrition, 129(2S Suppl), 510S-516S. DOI:

Chung, K., Haddad L., Ramakrishna J.& Eiley F. (1997). Identifying the Food Insecure: The Application of Mixed Method Approach in India, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington D. C.

de Souza Bittencourt, L., Chaves dos Santos, S. M., de Jesus Pinto, E., Aliaga, M. A., & de Cássia Ribeiro-Silva, R. (2013). Factors associated with food insecurity in households of public school students of Salvador City, Bahia, Brazil. Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition, 31(4), 471–479. DOI:

Edison, E., & Devi, R.R. (2019). Tribal Land Alienation, Agricultural Changes and Food Culture Transition in Attappady. South Asia Research, 39, 61 - 77. DOI:

Ekbal, B., et al. (2013): Report on the visit to Attappadi by the medical team constituted by the CPI (M) Kerala State Committee, 18-21 May, available at uploads/2013/07/Attapadi-Report-E.pdf

Faber, M., Schwabe C., Drimie S. (2008). Dietary diversity in relation to other household food security indicators, Int J Food Safety, Nutr Public Health., 1(2), 157-171. DOI:

Food Agricultural Organisation: (2020). The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, FAO: Rome, Italy, 2021

Food and Agricultural Organisation. (2002). The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2001, Journal of International Development and Cooperation, 12(2), 25-45.

Furness, B.W., Simon, P.A., Wold, C.M., Asarian-Anderson, J. (2004). Prevalence and Predictors of food insecurity among low-income households in Los Angeles Country”, Public Health Nutrition, 7(06), 791–794. DOI:

GoI. (2019). Food and Nutrition Security Analysis, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, GoI and the World Food Programme.

Gundersen, C. & Gruber, J. (2001). The Dynamic Determinants of Food Insufficiency, In Second Food Security Measurement and Research Conference, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Report, 11 –12.

Gundersen, C., & Ziliak, J. P. (2015). Food Insecurity And Health Outcomes. Health Affairs, 34(11), 1830– 1839. DOI:

Gupta, P., Singh, K., Seth, V., Agarwal, S. & Mathur, P. (2015). Coping Strategies Adopted by Households to Prevent Food Insecurity in Urban Slums of Delhi, India, Journal of Food Security, 3(1), 6-10

Hossain, M., Naher, F. & Shahabuddin, Q. (2005). Food Security and Nutrition in Bangladesh: Progress and Determinants, Electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, 2(2), 103–13

James K.S., S.Irudaya Raja. & Srinivas Goli. (2020). Demographic and Health Diversity in the Era of SDGs, Economic and Political Weekly, 55 (6), 46-52.

Planning Commission. (2008). Kerala Development Report. inline-files/Kerala-Development-Report-2021.pdf

Kunhaman, M. (1985). The Tribal Economy of Kerala: An Intra-Regional Analysis, Economic & Political Weekly, 20(11), 466–74.

International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C. (2000). Urban Livelihood and Food and Nutrition Security in Greater Accra, Ghana. Research Report No. 112.

Maxwell, D.G. (1996): Measuring Food Insecurity: The Frequency and Severity of Coping Strategies, Food Policy, 21(3), 291–303. DOI:

McKay, F. H., Haines, B. C., & Dunn, M. (2019). Measuring and Understanding Food Insecurity in Australia: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , 16 (3), 476. DOI:

Nair, K .T. (2008). Targeted Public Distribution System in Food Grains: Extent of Utilization by Tribal Population in Kerala - India, PhD Thesis, School of Management Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology.

Phillips, T.P. & Taylor DS. (1990). Optimal Control of Food Insecurity: A Conceptual Framework, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 62(6), 1304–1310. DOI:

Prasad, M. G. (2016). Changes in Cropping Pattern and Health Problems of Tribes in Attappady, UGC-MRP Project.

Prasad, M. G. (2019). A Study on the Health Status of the Tribes: A Socio-Economic Analysis with Special Reference to Attappady Block in Kerala State, PhD Thesis, Bharathiar University.

Rao, S., Deshingkar, P. & Farrington, J. (2006). Tribal Land Alienation in Andhra Pradesh: Processes, Impacts and Policy Concerns, Economic and Political Weekly, 41(52), 5401–5407.

Rom Khatri Chhetri, A. & Maharjan K. L. (2006). Food Insecurity and Coping Strategies in Rural Areas of Nepal - Food Security Indicators, International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, 2(1), 1–15.

Shincy, N. I. (2012). Livelihood Analysis of IRULA Tribe of Attappady [Thesis, Department of Agricultural Extension, College of Agriculture, Vellayani]. http://localhost:8080/xmlui/handle/123456789/301

Sinha, A. K. (2014). Nutritional Security Along with Food Security: A Major Need in Tribal Areas, Asian Mirror-International Journal of Research, 1 (1), 1-14

Sujatha, K. (2002). Education among Scheduled Tribes, In Govinda, R. (ed.), India Education Report: A Profile of Basic Education, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Sujathan. (2019). Impact and Implications of Institutional Interventions among Tribes in Kerala , University of Kerala, Research Project, Inter-University Centre for Alternative Economics, Thiruvananthapuram.

UNICEF. (2013). Problem: Increased Infant/Child Deaths Reported from Attapady Block, Palakkad District, 28-29 May.

UNICEF. (2015). Annual Report 2015, United Nations Children’s Fund, New York, 65.

Wekerle, G. R. (2004). Food Justice Movements. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 23(4), 378. DOI:

Lebanon | World Food Programme. (2023, March 31).



How to Cite

Sujathan, P. K., & M.G, P. (2023). Multiseed Farming Technique: A Panacea for Food Insecurity Among Tribes in Kerala. Journal of Rural Development, 41(3), 340–356.