The government has raised the price it pays to buy wheat by more than 70 percent since 2007, which only encourages more production. As a result, stocks are now at an all-time high of about 50 million tons, 12 times more than the official target.
The cause of this widespread malnutrition cannot be tied mechanically to a lack of staples like rice and wheat.
This is because state governments are reluctant to buy extra grain for distribution under the food welfare program and, even if they were, only people with under-the-poverty-line ration cards would be entitled to buy it in subsidized shops.
The government is now planning a food security scheme that will guarantee cheap grain to 63.5 percent of the population.