ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO
A study has found that despite India being the world’s largest producer of milk and second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, about 40 to 50 per cent of the total output ends up being wasted. This is so because of insufficient storage capacity for the produce. India reportedly has 6,300 storage facilities which can store only about 11 per cent of the country’s total perishable goods. This is a matter of grave concern. Besides the shortage of storage facilities, other aspects that lead to wastage of perishable goods are lack of trained personnel, outdated technology, erratic power supply and time consumed in transportation. This must be considered as a criminal waste of food in a country where millions cannot afford a square meal a day and poor children go to bed on an empty stomach. This waste of food items can affect earnings of farmers and also hit consumers as it leads to an increase in the price of the food consumables sold in the market. Hence, besides encouraging farmers to grow more crops and produce more milk products, what is also of more importance is handling of food consumables, storage and quick transportation, as time is important for perishable goods. Necessary steps need to be taken in this regard so that it becomes cost-effective for the retailer and ultimately reduce the burden on the consumer who, many a times, have to bear with spiraling prices of essential commodities.