According a government recent study, India wastes upto 67 million tonne of food every year, which can feed Bihar–one of India’s larger states–for a year.
HT reported that the study was conducted by Ciphet, the farm ministry’s harvest-research body. It was done to update findings two years ago that revealed enormous levels of food being chucked along the supply chain.
The value of the wasted food is estimated to be Rs 92,000 crore, which is nearly two-thirds of what the government spends to feed poor’s under the National Food Security programme.
Fruits, vegetables and pulses are wasted the most as they are prone to rotting. Study says that gluts, pests, weather and lack of modern storage are the other reasons for wastage.
Economists say that food wastage raises inflation and further hurts farmers’ returns on the crop.
“Lower supplies raise inflation and hurt the economy by reducing farmers’ returns on investments,” Amit Vyas, an economist with GB Pant Institute, told HT.
The study suggests on-farm training and cold-storage investments to avoid food wastage.
After harvest, produce goes through a series of operations, from farm to market. “Each operation and handling stage results in some losses. Thus a huge quantity of agricultural production is reduced from the food chain,” the study observed. It recommends on-farm training and cold-storage investments, which are cheaply available, but underutilised.