Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

India will distribute stored grain to poor

The agriculture minister has promised to carry out the Supreme Court's order to solve massive grain wastage, despite earlier claims the task was not possible.

NEW DELHI // India's agriculture minister promised today that the government would carry out an order by the Supreme Court to distribute grain to the poor instead of letting it rot in warehouses. In early August the Supreme Court criticised the federal farmers' agency, the Food Corp of India, for failing to properly store India's massive grain stocks and told the government to distribute the food to the poor. "This government will honour the decision of the Supreme Court," Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told parliament after earlier saying the directive was "impossible to implement". The Supreme Court reiterated on Tuesday that its ruling had been "an order". It said it was "a crime to waste even a grain of food" as long as people were starving. A recent Asian Development Bank report calculated the number of poor people in India - those living on less than two dollars a day - stood at around 651 million. Malnutrition among under-fives stands at 43.5 percent -- worse than sub-Saharan Africa, according to government figures. The Supreme Court also said that the government must urgently build infrastructure for modern storage facilities across the country. The court order came after Indian media reports exposed massive wastage of government-bought grain across the country in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states. The Hindustan Times newspaper quoted an unidentified government source as saying about 10 million tonnes of grain -- enough to feed 118 million people for a year -- were at risk of rotting. In 2009, the amount of grain wasted in warehouses across the country totalled 16 million tonnes, according to Food Corp of India. Analysts say that foreign investment in the retail sector is needed to help modernise India's food supply chain and sharply reduce wastage. * Agence France-Presse

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National