Can better governance improve food security? An assessment of the public food distribution system in Odisha, India
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Governance of food distribution systems as part of social safety net programs continues to be a major concern for policy makers in developing countries. In this paper we assess how successful recent initiatives in governance of public food distribution (PDS) in the Indian state of Odisha have been in dealing with inefficiencies that have long plagued it. Analysis, based on data from the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) and micro-level evidence obtained from Village Level Studies (VLS), indicate a marked revival in governance of food distribution in the state with several positive outcomes. These include much wider coverage of PDS from 6.4% of households in 1993-1994 to 58.3% in 2011-2012, notable improvements in cereal consumption at the household level across both rural and urban areas and improved nutrition of a large segment of the socially and economically weaker sections of society.
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