01 December, 2020

Preserving Instinct

If colas can see easing of taxes, why not milk produce or veggies, easily the more essential items for us?

Jitender Gupta
Preserving Instinct
It is ironical that the country which is the third largest producer of food in the world makes headlines all the time for starvation and food poisoning deaths. We produce 601 million tonnes of food. At 132 million tonnes, we are the world's second largest producer of fruit and vegetables. We have more livestock and produce more milk (82 million tonnes) than any other country.

By the end of the 10th Plan, fruit and vegetable production is likely to touch 185-215 million tonnes and milk production 100 million tonnes. Yet food isn't reaching every hungry mouth. The reason is absurdly simple: food and milk are perishables and rot if not consumed or preserved. Less than 2 per cent of India's fruits and vegetables are processed and 40 per cent (Rs 25,000 crore per annum) is wasted at different levels of production, transportation and handling. Only 15 per cent of the organised sector milk produce is processed. The retail sale of raw milk is prone to high bacterial count, a sure health hazard, adulteration and poor shelf life.

Yet governments have traditionally ignored the...


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