Spatial poverty traps and food security: Unpacking the linkages

Nitya Rao, Shubhasree Shankar, Aiswarya Dutta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


India’s food and nutrition insecurity continues to worsen despite its economic growth and plethora of national policies to address poverty and food insecurity. The problem appears to be concentrated in particular districts of the country, leading to a conflation of food insecurity with the idea of spatial poverty traps. In this paper, using a food systems lens, we seek to decouple the concepts of poverty and food and nutrition security. The study used primarily qualitative methods, alongside a food insecurity experience survey (FIES), and Census data to conduct a comparative analysis of three selected blocks of Koraput district in the Eastern Indian state of Odisha. Results showed disconnects between the levels of poverty and food insecurity, suggesting a context-specific range of entry points for addressing the problem of food and nutrition security. Decentralised planning based on the agency of local communities is needed for effective, equitable and sustainable solutions to food insecurity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36481
JournalEconomic and Political Weekly
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2024


  • food security
  • spatial poverty traps
  • Koraput
  • India

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