Food Security in India: the Interactions of Climate Change, Economics, Politics and Trade (FOODSEC)

2013 - 2016 (Completed)
Climate change threatens the food production systems and livelihoods of a significant proportion of the population in India.

Climate change threatens the food production systems and livelihoods of a significant proportion of the population in India. The potential impacts of climate change on agriculture are multifaceted, directly influencing productivity, yields, and the availability of arable land and water, as well as influencing production, food prices and trade patterns for staple and high-value products alike.

The potential effect on food security, where a number of Indian states already face shortages in production under current climatic conditions. We argue that a broad, and, at the same time, concrete empirical approach is needed to understand mechanisms of producing food insecurity, i.e. an institutional approach addressing how various kinds of food production and distribution institutions operate and interact to produce a combination of entitlements that can ensure household food security.

For general as well as climatic reasons, the analysis will take into account differences across states as there is huge diversity across states with respect to soil, water and climate variables as well as market based and public food distribution systems. The project will therefore have a state-level perspective.The project has a multi-level and comparative design. This calls for methodological triangulation, including macro-modelling, a sociological study of the institutionalisation of food chains, field work in local communities using structured interviews, statistics, as well as text analyses of policy papers and other material on political processes. Recognising the variation in food institutions across India, the project will focus on three states that represent contrasting cases with regard to food production and distribution systems as well as household food security. 

Advocacy and dissemination to politicians and civil society is important and will be organised as an independent work package.


Research Council of Norway (RCN)

Project Manager

Governance  International economics  Trade  Climate  Development policy  Humanitarian issues  Asia

SIFO (Norwegian Instite for Consumer Research; Arne Dulsrud, Unni Kjærnes) CUTS International, Jaipur, India. ISEC, Bangalore. SIFO is project coordinator.