11 May, 2021

Ending The Glut Of Hunger

Outlook presents the views of five eminent experts on how to deal with the food mountain --M.S. Swaminathan, Sharad Joshi, Y.K. Alagh, Manoj Pant, Bharat Ramaswami.

Ending The Glut Of Hunger
It’s ceased to elicit surprise, shock or dismay: the 60 mt of foodgrain stock lying in the FCI godowns, even as 26 per cent of Indians continue to wallow below the poverty line. The Centre has freed grain movement but the states are yet to reciprocate. In the 2002-03 Budget, Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha even hinted at putting a cap on procurement, which is partly responsible for the accumulation of stocks, but failed to outline any concrete steps to manage the glut. That’s probably because the states are not in favour of decentralising procurement. And, curiously enough, agriculture is a state subject while most of the procurement and stocks management is done at the central level.

The government, it is hoped, may announce something after considering the report of the high-level committee on long-term grain policy, expected to be submitted shortly. Several suggestions, ranging from food-for-work programmes to free distribution of grain to the poor, have made the rounds. Outlook presents the views of five eminent experts on how to deal with the food...

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