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How much food does India waste?
Commodity Online | March 16, 2007 13:40 IST
How much food items do Indians waste every year?
Well, it is indeed a startling figure.
A fresh estimate from the ministry of food processing says a whopping Rs 58,000 crore (Rs 580 billion) worth of agriculture food items get wasted in the country every year.
Private consulting firm Rabo India Finance has prepared the food wastage report and presented it to the ministry.
Quoting from the report, Minister of State for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahai told the Parliament that the fact that such a huge quantity of food items goes as waste in the country is an eye-opener for every Indian.
The report said the food wastage is mainly due to lack of post-harvest infrastructure such as cold chain facilities, transportation and proper storage facilities, etc.
"Wastage of food items occurs at various stages of handling after harvesting due to fragmented farming," Sahai pointed out.
He said the loss due to wastages could be reduced by a developed food processing industry, strengthening of the post- harvest infrastructure and filling the gaps in the supply chain.
The government, through its schemes for financial assistance for development of food processing industry and other promotional measures, plays a proactive and facilitating role for overall development of food processing sector in the country.
Sahai said with huge potential of retail driven demand, many retail giants including foreign companies have shown growing interest in Indian agri and processed food products.
"The government through its schematic and policy support is facilitating better market access to the farmers for their long-term economic sustainability and better choices to consumers," the minister added.