Institute for Social and Economic Change

Working Paper: 280

Food Insecurity in Tribal Regions of
Maharashtra: Explaining Differentials between
the Tribal and Non-Tribal Communities


Nitin Tagade



This paper examines the levels of food insecurity at the micro level as against to the macro level in the tribal dominated areas of Maharashtra. A comparison of food insecurity between the two communities reveals a higher incidence of food insecurity among the tribal as compared to that of non-tribal. The micro level indicators of food insecurity differ from the macro level indicators in several ways. The nutritional status of tribal children is much lower than that of their non-tribal counterparts. This finding, however, is not universally true. It has been found that natural forest resources play a significant role in determining the nutritional status of tribal children. The tribal communities’ vulnerability to food insecurity would be further aggravated if they were denied access to forest resources. Government policies should, therefore, ensure not only provisions of direct benefits in terms of subsidised food but also help build the capabilities of the tribal communities to overcome food insecurity, particularly in distress situations.

Working Papers