Amongst Global South nations grappling with the problems of both food security and poverty relief, two of the largest are Brazil and India. Though the nations of course differ in a host of socioeconomic, cultural and geopolitical respects, they do face similar problems of sharp income inequality, displacement of rural populations into cities and increasing battles over land and agricultural ownership. At the same time, both countries have had, until recently, a long period of sustained economic growth, as well as centre-left governments (the Workers’ Party in the case of Brazil, the Indian National Congress in the case of India), attempting to spread the benefits of that growth to a wider social strata. The differential approaches that the social security systems in each nation took in attempting to address the problem of food security are, therefore, instructive in understanding how these questions should be approached on a policy level. Though of course constrained in each case by differing economic and political contexts, as well as path dependencies within each country’s existing social protection regime, there are lessons in their successes and failures. Moreover, an approach which would recognize the best aspects of each policy program could be instrumental in designing a food security policy which reconciles institutional and individual problem levels. This paper will examine the political logics which informed both approaches, with an eye to seeing how these were played out in their concrete effects as implemented.


  • Considered; in other words, can a nation overall be “food secure”

  • Propriateness of the food provided, and sustainability of the This set of conflicts over definition and scope has led agricultural practices involved in its growing? some to contest the term “food security” altogether as being if the food provided in order to create this “security” comes outdated, and instead to push for “food sovereignty” as an in the form of either food aid or other external imports, does alternative goal

  • For food sovereignty to be actualized nition, a nation proclaiming itself to be “food sovereign” as a under this conception, “requires direct democratic partici- matter of national policy may be nothing of the sort, pation” [3], of producers and consumers in order to shape as this sovereignty may not respect democratic rights of the character of the food system, rather than being citizens to participation as full-fledged actors in the food sysinstrumental parts within it

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Considered; in other words, can a nation overall be “food secure”


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