46,658 tonnes of food grains were spoiled and rotten in Food Corporation of India godowns, which could have fed around 0.8 million people.
46,658 tonnes of food grains in Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns spoiled in three years, whereas if the grains would have been distributed across the nation, near to 0.8 million people could have had proper meals for one year.
These grains could have fed the people from priority families under the National Food Security Act.
In other words, it could have fed 10 pc of Bengaluru’s population or 6 pc of Mumbai’s citizens if each person received 5 kg of food grains each month.
In over 10 years, tonnes of food grains have been wasted in FCI buffer storage godowns.
“If you look at it, a majority of food grains wasted in 2015-16 was due to natural calamities like cyclone. A major storage issue was seen in the 1990s and there was a problem in 2013, but we’ve more or less overcome the issues and are also going to augment our storage capacity in coming years,” said FCI chairman and managing director Yogendra Tripati.
According to a FCI official, the amount of grains spoiled in 2015-16 were much lower than in the past two years.
Excess of food grains
FCI has an excess of around 15.65 million tonnes of food grains of the prescribed buffer norms as of April 1, 2016. As per the norms, the corporation should have stocked only 21.04 million tonnes of food grains as on April 1, whereas it stocked around 36.65 million tonnes.
FCI has been trying to reduce buffer stocks each year and has managed to do that well. The 39.65 million tonnes of grains is the least it has held in six years, with the highest in 2013 when it had 59.75 million tonnes of stock.
“If you look at the macro scenario, we have excess food grains that can be utilised and we also have the least excess quantity over several years, which is a good sign,” Tripati said.
“We have enough food for the next 12-14 months, as I see it. This is now the wheat procurement period, and we need to have 75 lakh tonnes of wheat as of April 1, but we have 145 lakh tonnes. Besides this, an additional 190 lakh tonnes has been procured, which is more than the annual demand for PDS, which is 240 lakh tonnes,” he added.