FOOD WASTAGE IN INDIA
India’s population will increase by almost 10% to the present in the next twenty years .We are already struggling to feed our population and our issues are only going to worsen in the coming decades . One thirds of the world’s malnourished children live in India and half the reported child deaths in India carry only one cause-under and malnourishment. These are the disturbing facts . Are we really insufficient on the food production front despite primarily being an agricultural country??
Estimates show that India actually produces food in surplus than what is actually required .But how do we still manage to stay in such a pathetic stage after such tremendous yields? Let us look for these significant answers.
The most significant factor that contributes to this is that high proportions of the food that is produced never actually reaches the consumers .Nearly half of the annual production goes to waste. We top the world table in wasting food which directly affects the prices of the basic commodities .To give an example milk costs nearly 50% more than it should actually be.
There are many reasons why so much food is lost but mostly it is because we lack the proper infrastructure to support the scale at which we produce food, erratic power supply to the existing storage houses ,absence of modern food distribution techniques .And there are serious lack of incentives for people to invest in this sector. The government managed FCI was primarily established to implement price-support systems , have proper storage facilities , include buffer stock of staple foods .As any government managed institution which rots due to mismanagement ,less incentives and rampant corruption it has actually become a hurdle rather than the solution.
India at the present rate will not have enough arable land ,power , water supplies to provide food security to the future generations in the near future .The new government should address this problem as soon as possible and start building a new stack of modern storage facilities for especially perishable foods. The people should adhere to their civic responsibilities and shouldn’t waste food to create a greener and healthier india. So, lets all take an oath to never waste food being the proud citizens of our country.