ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Food Consumption Expenditures and the COVID-19 Pandemic in India

The COVID-19 pandemic led to lockdowns and disruptions in food supply chains and emerged as both a demand- and a supply-side shock. Based on the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy– Consumer Pyramids Household Survey monthly expenditure data for the period from January 2019 to August 2021, changes in food expenditure shares in India as a result of the pandemic across income and socio-economic and demographic groups are examined. The pandemic-induced lockdowns resulted in a sharp increase in the share of food in the total expenditure across rural and urban India for all income groups and castes and religions, but the intensity of shifts varied.

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life (World Food Summit, 1996 ).

Following SOFI (2021), well before the COVID-19 pandemic, the progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 2.1 of ensuring access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food for all people all year round or towards SDG Target 2.2 of eradicating all forms of malnutrition was not on track. The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic in March 2020. As a result, several countries sealed their international borders and instituted various measures such as lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing to flatten the curve of the infection. In addition to travel restrictions, there have been international trade restrictions, which, combined with widespread labour shortages, have resulted in massive economic turmoil and supply chain disruptions, threatening livelihoods and food consumption across the world.

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Updated On : 8th Aug, 2022
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