Thesis, antithesis and synthesis
A democratic and welfare state must provide food for the hungry mouths of it subjects. Nobody should be allowed to die for want of food in a country like India. In the back drop of such a scenario, the Supreme Court of India in its recent judgment directed the central government to distribute excess crops to the poor and the foodless. The Food Security Act, 2013 is also a bi-product of the Honorable Court’s observations. The Act is aimed at providing a certain quantum of rice, wheat, etc. to families of more than 65% of the country’s populations. So, ‘food for all’ is the thesis here.
Food for all:
The Food Corporation of India is the food procurement agency of Government of India. All spaces and godowns of FCI are brimming with food stuff beyond the godowns. Food is also stalked at the open space exposed to rain and sun for the protection of only a tarpaulin. The minimum support price fixed by the government is treated as a maximum, falling well short of price offered by the hoarders and the market price. Peasants get disappointed at being refused by the FCI authorities for purchase of their produces. Very often, FCI is helpless as accommodation of huge stock in a smaller space is not possible.
Due to the FCI’s refusal, the farmers are compelled to sell their produces at distresses price to big business houses and hoarders. Large scale corruption and a large number of schemes such as MNREGA, food for work, mid day mill system distribution through ration card, etc. have added fuel to the fire. Scheduled to complete lack of coordination, all schemes suffer from in equal distribution system. Corruption is rampant in the matter of both procurement and distribution.
Inequitable distribution and inadequate rainfall have compounded the problem. At one place there is the production of plenty and at another scarcity and inadequacy rules. Lack of adequate transport system and moveable roads is hitting the farmers in a big way. It is a problem and problem for the farmer all the day, especially, perfect infrastructure not being in place. All these may be called antithesis. Problems are too many, but solutions are without problems. All problems except the natural calamities are man-made and can be solved by efficient administrative measures and by resolute will power.
Corruption is at its nadir has to be stopped in some way. Food pilferage and destruction by mice should be properly guarded against with adequate steps making concerned agencies accountable for inaction and taking actions whenever and wherever necessary. World food wastage is estimated at 1.3 billion tons annually at a cost factor touching 750 billion dollars as per a survey conducted by the World Food and Agriculture Organization of UNO. This is as high as one third of annual production of food grains. Asia leads the world table and China among all countries is the worst off in this area. The total quantum of food wastage in the world equals that with the food grain produced in Switzerland a year, according to UNO report.
To save food without wasting:
This is a danger signal which needs urgent and critical attention to save our future posterity from starvation and malnutrition. The world population is going to increase by two billions with the present rate of growth within a period of 37 years from now. Food requirement will increase correspondingly. Shortage of food will hit severe year by year with the closing years proving disastrous and fatal. So, it is better to start planning for 37 years instead of looking at year to year available. We have both to increase production and minimize wastage. Extraordinary income groups in affluent and capitalistic countries d
estroy food grains more compared to developing countries where more wastage is seen during production itself. If we have no control on the inevitable, a consciousness can be developed among people to save food without wasting, it as a starving mouth is waiting for the same for his sustenance. The industrialized countries, such as China, Japan and South Koreas should be considerate and conscious that the per capita 80 kilograms of food grains destroyed by them are too much.
Synthesis of thesis and antithesis:
Food grains are being primarily damaged during production, procurement and distribution. In India, also food grains are allowed to not in the godowns due to ineffective management and insensitive distribution system. So the need of the hour is synthesis, i.e., synchronization of production, procurement and distribution (PPD). We are in the 21st century. We have turned the table on impossibility. I don’t find any reason as to why cannot do a synthesis of thesis and antithesis.
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