- 07/03/2019 at 7:42 am #1306960EduGorillaKeymasterSelect Question Language :
Directions: Read the given passage carefully and answer the questions that follow. Certain words/phrases are printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
Agricultural productivity depends on several factors like the availability and quality of agricultural inputs such as land, water, seeds and fertilizers, access to agricultural credit and crop insurance, assurance of remunerative prices for agricultural produce, and storage and marketing infrastructure, among others. As of 2009-10, more than half of the total workforce (53%) of the country, i.e. 243 million persons were employed in agriculture. The share of population depending on agriculture for its livelihood consists of landowners, tenant farmers who cultivate a piece of land, and agricultural labourers who are employed on these farms. Agricultural output has been volatile over the past 10 years, with annual growth ranging from 8.6% in 2010-11, to -0.2% in 2014-15 and 0.8% in 2015-16.
Besides providing for the livelihood of farmers and labourers, the agricultural sector also addresses food security for the nation. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations defines food security as a situation in which all people have, at all times, physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets the dietary needs and food preferences for a healthy and active life. Despite high levels of production in the country, 15% of the population continues to be under-nourished, as per 2014 estimates. India enacted the National Food Security Act in 2013. The 2013 Act aims to provide food and nutritional security to people by ensuring access to adequate amount of quality food at affordable prices. Under the 2013 Act, persons belonging to certain categories are provided with food grains (wheat, rice and coarse cereals) at subsidised prices. As of 2015, 68% of the population, i.e. 81 crore persons (of which 77% are in rural areas and 23% in urban areas), is covered under the Act. Over the past few decades, with increasing per capita income and access to a variety of food groups, the consumption pattern of food in the country has been changing. Dependence on cereals for nutrition has decreased and the consumption of protein has increased. Sources of protein include pulses, meat, seafood, and eggs, among others. According to a Finance Ministry report on incentivising the production of pulses in the country, poor levels of nutrition suggest that a policy increasing the consumption of proteins should be the priority of the government. The cost of pulses as a source of protein is lower than other sources. Under the current domestic scenario, India is facing a shortage of pulses which is being plugged by imports.
Choose the word which is similar in meaning to ‘volatile’ as used in the passage.
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