Food stocks go waste while India’s stand blocks WTO trade deal

WTO talks on the trade facilitation deal have collapsed over India’s stand on protection of food subsidies. But while New Delhi’s demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling had some justification, its poor food storage facilities and infrastructure are unpardonable.
  • Pigeons eat grains from stacked sacks at the APMC market yard, Ahmedabad on 29 July 2014. India wastes food worth `45000 crore a year, 20 million tonnes of grains, which is enough to feed one third of India’s poor. Reuters
  • Wheat stock lying at Food Corporation of India (FCI) warehouse at Hapur in October last year. The 2014-15 budget has allocated ` 5000 crore for raising warehouse capacity, which is too little, as FCI’s unscientific storing causes large amounts of grain to be lost. HT
  • Farmers shift wet bags of rice after overnight rains soaked them at the Agriculture Market Yard, Warangal, near Hyderabad, on 9 May 2014. Post harvest losses of food grains are 20 million tonne, which can be prevented with better storage facilities. AFP
  • A worker carrying vegetables as it pours at the Vashi APMC wholesale market, Mumbai on 12 July, 2014. One third of India’s fruits and vegetables worth `13000 go waste annually in the absence of adequate refrigeration facilities. Bloomberg
  • WTO’s chairman Roberto Azevedo at the WTO meeting on Thursday announced the failure to reach consensus by the 31 July deadline. The pact was meant to simplify customs procedures, facilitate the speedy release of goods from ports and cut transaction costs. AFP