In the last three years, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has allowed 46,658 tonnes of foodgrains to rot in 1,889 warehouses across the country. Again, 143.74 tonnes were reported stolen.
Times Of Inda reports, this much of foodgrains could have fed eight lakh people from priority families under the National Food Security Act for an entire year. It could have fed 10 per cent of Bengaluru’s population or 6 per cent of Mumbai’s citizens if each person received 5 kg of foodgrains per month.
Such problems have been plaguing the FCI for over decades and it is trying to reduce the buffer storage. A study by the London-based Institution of Mechanical Researchers on global food wastage found that about 21 million tonnes of wheat go waste in India.
The Indian government buys food grains from the farmers but does not have the space to store it. The Food Corporation has insufficient number of grain silos (modern storage facilities), and so grains are stored in outdoor depots across the country. This makes grains prone to rodents, moisture, birds and pests. Unexpected rainstorms and bad weather make matters even worse.
FCI has an excess of 15.65 million tonnes (mt) of foodgrains of the prescribed buffer norms as of April 1, 2016. But according to the norms which was reviewed in January 2015, FCI should have stocked only 21.04 mt of foodgrains as on April 1, but had 36.65 mt. This suggests that the problem of storing additional grains will plague FCI this year also.
One of the reasons for the wastage of food is that grains are not moved out of the warehouses in time and distributed. Due to this inefficiency in transporting grains out of the warehouses and to the ration shops, massive quantities of grains pertaining to years 2008-09 were found in the FCI godowns in March 2012.
The Food Corporation of India owns a storage capacity of about 156 lac tonnes including the storage space hired by it. The total storage capacity comes to about 336.04 lac tonnes. However, the Stock of Food grains procured in the year 2011-12 was 667.89 lac tonnes, leading to severe strain on the FCI storage facilities.
Though in India, there is enough food to feed everyone. But wastage of such amounts prevent this from happening.
The Logical Indian appeals to the government to find an optimum way to buffer proper amount of food grains that is necessary. We also urge to increase the storage capacity of food grains so that there is not such massive wastage.