Food Inflation – the real issue is of planned production & storage

Pulses – the pulse of the nation : Pre-dominantly , Indians are vegetarians , and so the protein requirements are met through consumption of protein rich – pulses

We have always been worried about high food inflation charging the government for inefficient handling of the prices. Often we quote the high price of pulses . Let’s do a little digging on why pulses cost more when 65 % of our nation is engaged in agriculture ?

Pulses production in India is 12-15 million tonnes , and the requirement is 18-20 million tonnes .  Looks like pulses production have never been planned by the ministry of agriculture or the planning commission ; this is when we have celebrated 63 years of independence recently !!

Second issue is that despite poor production , even storage has not been attended to .

FCI- Food Corporation of India has 60.5 million tonnes of food grains ( all kinds of grains & not just pulses )  . This is good enough of quantity to give 21 KG of grain every month to people below BPL .  Sadly enough , 30 % of the 60.5 Million tonnes gets wasted every year due to storage conditions

Issue is very simple , and the policy makers need to plan production and storage to address the gaps . Once this is done , we should never have issues related to irrational prices of food grains

Rajendra Pratap Gupta

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