- Decentralise, but don’t do away with FCI. Start community food banks.
- Offer the food stored thus in exchange for work on bio-ecological projects: afforestation, rainwater harvesting, waste recycling.
- Give nutrition support to mothers/infants, the infirm.
Owing to a mismatch between production and consumption, we have now a surplus of wheat and rice stocks. FCI has done a magnificent job in implementing the minimum support price policy for the last 35 years. But for such a policy, farmers would not have produced surplus grains for the market. However, the time has come for us to promote a centralised-cum-decentralised system of grain purchase and storage. In my view, FCI should still operate the buffer stock since a country of over 1 billion people cannot take any risk in food supply. Our grain reserve is also a mechanism for safeguarding our national sovereignty in foreign policy.
The decentralised system could be in the form of community food banks, to be organised with four major responsibilities:
Entitlements: The benefits of...