Food wastage is a sin in a country such as ours, where millions go hungry and food inflation rages. You can tell your children to clean up their plates or—as Lal Bahadur Shastri urged citizens during the drought year of 1965—eat rice only once a day. But the problem needs to be cracked with policy.
The government will reportedly begin a drive to reduce the colossal wastage of food. Though no trustworthy data is available, it is estimated that around one-third of fresh farm produce rots before it can be moved to markets. The rotting cereals in godowns are a well-known story.
A recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization says that food is wasted in rich countries because of very high quality expectations from consumers, who pay more attention to looks rather than taste. But the developing countries lose food because of poor infrastructure. There is a simple solution for this: modern retail.