Every year, India witnesses large amount of wastage of fruits, vegetables and grains due to lack of effective food supply chain management. Discuss while suggesting measures to address this challenge.

Food supply chain management refers to an efficient management of the food items with reduced wastage and enhanced efficiency from producer to the consumer. Importance of transport for fruits, vegetable and grains emanates from their being perishable in nature and their being crucial for not only food and nutrition security but also several industries including food processing industry.
Lack of adequate number of warehouses, cold storage and lack of Institutional interventions to ensure better management of food crops; are resulting in large number of wastages. Small size of land holdings makes it difficult to adopt the efficient methods of handling for better management of crops.
Measures to address these challenges:
For grains, effective procurement and PDS reforms are needed. FCI should be either reformed drastically or its functions should be streamlined. For fruits and vegetables, the reforms in markets, including revision of APMC act, encouraging formalization of food processing sector to aid in greater efficiency in the supply chain management; encouraging contract and cooperative farming so that there can be economy of scale to adopt technologies for efficient management of supply chain are some of the suggested measures.
As the government envisages doubling of farmer’s income by 2022, the strengthening of supply chain management will contribute immensely in this direction.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Every year, India witnesses large amount of wastage of fruits, vegetables and grains due to lack of effective food supply chain management. Discuss while suggesting measures to address this challenge.

Published: February 2, 2018 | Modified:October 15, 2020

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