As Grains Rot, Millions Die Of Malnutrition in India
Bangalore: Recent advancements in agricultural technology have helped India increase its grain production through developments with high yield seeds for the past five years as per a Reuters report. Yet with all this surplus food no solution to the country’s hunger problem has been found.
Every day about 3,000 children in India die from illnesses related to malnutrition, and yet countless heaps of rodent-infested wheat and rice are rotting in fields across the north of the country. Sadly, a lack of storage facilities and an inefficient, corruption-plagued public distribution system has caused this situation.
The big glitch is that India's storage facilities have not kept up with the grain's pace of development. Consequently, grain surpluses are now being stored outside, where the chances of rotting drastically increase.
This inefficient system has fatal consequences. Instead of the grain filling the stomach of hungry Indians, it is feeding rodents and insects, growing fungus, and decomposing. According to Reuters, this year, officials estimated that 6 million tons of India's grain worth $1.5 billion could become inedible. This is while 43 percent of children under 5 years are underweight, according to UNICEF report.
Analysts say the losses could be far higher as more than 19 million tonnes are now lying in the open, exposed to scorching summer heat and monsoon rains.
Further, it’s an embarrassment for the government led by the Congress party, which returned to power in 2009 where they pledged of welfare for the poor, who make up about 40 percent of the 1.2 billion population.