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

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Is Food Insecurity in Kerala a Myth?

While agreeing with K P Kannan's remarks on the neglected agricultural scenario of Kerala ("Agricultural Development in an Emerging Non-Agrarian Regional Economy: Kerala's Challenges", 26 February 2011), this comment challenges the author's dismissal of food insecurity in Kerala as a myth.

P Kannans article (26 February 2011) on Keralas rapidly declining agriculture must be welcomed as an urgently needed intervention by one of the best experts in the eld on an issue of critical importance for the people of Kerala and beyond. As the author rightly remarks, the issue has not caught the public imagination as it should; indeed, it has remained one of low priority for policymakers as well as the supposedly vibrant civil society in Kerala. Kannan examines some of the causes of this decline, highlights factors that favour or hinder the revival of Keralas agriculture, and provides a few valuable policy recommendations. Surprisingly, however, Kannan summarily dismisses the issue of food insecurity in Kerala as a myth. This, we believe, requires a response. We provide several reasons why the issue of food insecurity should be taken seriously, and why the revival of agriculture in general, and food production in particular, should be given the highest priority by all concerned. This is followed by a few observations on why agriculture and food production continue to be viable in Kerala.

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