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Over 17,000 tonnes of grains wasted in 3 years in India

Aug 27, 2013

The RTI activist Sinmul Bhattacharya said that instead of letting tonnes of food grains rot in godowns the government should provide three months grain at a time to each family.

Even as politicians brawled indecently for brownie points in Parliament and passed the Food Security Bill in a din of confusing voices and with scant regard to the nation’s declining economic health, an RTI probe has revealed that because of inadequate storage facilities, India, a country that cannot adequately feed most of its people, was wasting fruits, grains and vegetables worth Rs 44,000 crore every year.

The response of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is a deeply disturbing story of how the country was allowing tonnes of food to rot even as it needs a Food Security law that could potentially cripple its economy to provide basic nutrition to its largely poor population.

In the one-year period that the response looks at 7185 tonnes of wheat and 6905 tonnes of rice were lost in FCI’s godowns in 23 states and Union Territories; enough to feed seven crore people for a year by the WHO’s minimum nutrition standards of 250 grams of grains per person per day.

The RTI activist Sinmul Bhattacharya said that instead of letting tonnes of food grains rot in godowns the “government should provide three months grain at a time to each family,” which they could better store in their homes.

The details provided by FCI shows that West Bengal reported higher percentage of damaged rice between 2009-10 and 2011-12 with a loss of around 2,300 tonnes. In Punjab, the loss reduced drastically from 2,223 tonnes in 2009-10 to only 37 tonnes during 2011-12.

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