Cooperative Federalism To Combat Food Wastage: Work On To Link Surplus States With Deficient Ones, And Help Farmers

Cooperative Federalism To Combat Food Wastage: Work On To Link Surplus States With Deficient Ones, And Help FarmersRepresentative image. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Union government is working on a proposal to reduce both food wastage and food scarcity by linking food-surplus states with food-deficient states along with promoting pan-India development of the food processing industry, reports Business Standard.

"Everyday, we hear news from states like UP, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Maharashtra of farmers discarding their items or doing distress sales of their produce. But, this is soon going to change as the Centre has already started work on developing a mechanism to ensure that states producing any item in excess are able to transport it to other states where there is a demand," said Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Monday (14 January) during Indus Food, India's official export-focused food and beverage trade fair.

"We have already tied up with organisations like National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) to make this happen. This will greatly help farmers by getting them proper income for their produce," she added.

According to the Global Hunger Index report, approximately 40 per cent of foodgrains, costing Rs 88,800 crore, is wasted in the country every year. Most of this wastage is caused due to deterioration in quality of foodgrain during transport and storage. Also, only 10 per cent of the total agricultural output in India is processed.

Foodgrain waste also results in an enormous amount of water wastage because water plays a significant role in food production. For example, discarding an apple means wasting 25 gallons of water. Thus, with the country facing severe water shortages, the issue of food wastage should take priority.