This paper examines the extent and root causes of hunger in developing countries with special focus on India. Its starting point is the recent release of The Challenge of Hunger 2008 and Indian State Hunger Index 2008 by IFPRI. The paper highlights that ISHI study, although it shows alarming level of hunger in Indian states, underestimates the real level of hunger existing in the country. Using a different benchmark, it finds a much higher prevalence of undernourishment in India. It also shows that trade liberalisation may not solve the hunger problem as real returns to cultivators have fallen after trade liberalisation. It concludes that public welfare policies should be strengthened to reduce hunger and poverty.
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