BIZ@INDIA Gulfood Special 2020

February - 2020


( Only Digital Magazine, Not Printed )

Challenges For Indian Food Industry:Sustainability, Higher Value & Biodiversity

With countries around the world facing the wrath of climate change every
passing day, there is one sector experiencing a looming existential threat
and that is the agriculture sector. Be it because of deluge or draught the
rising incidents of climate change are disrupting and destroying farming not
just more frequently but with much more punch.
In this issue of Biz@India we see even though India has transformed from being very
deficient in its food production to the biggest producer of several products, yet the country
is far from being sustainable. With accelerating degradation of arable land, increasing farm
output is nearly an impossible task, if the farmers continue with their current methods of
growing crops- with very large and often poisonous doses of chemicals to preserve the fresh
vegetables, fruits and grains for a much longer duration. However, with rising awareness at
the farms but also more importantly at the level of consumers, there has been a move, over
the last few years, towards sustainable farming. Worried consumers are now increasingly
looking for organic food products, while farmers, facing economic crisis and a severe
shortage of water, are adopting sustainable methods.
One good news is that solar powered storage facilities are coming to the rescue of
farmers who lose every year most of their crops due to lack in large-scale climate-proof
storage capacity. With the rise in use of solar power, some companies have developed
storage rooms and cubicles, powered by solar energy, increasing the shelf life of the harvest
nearly 10 times and boosting farmers’ incomes.
We also talk about the illegal cultivation of GMOs and how the government is divided
in its opinion on the question of GMO cultivation. The import of edible oils, crops, fruits,
frozen foods, and so on, from countries with legalised GMOs make for a valid doubt whether
India is already consuming the debated varieties. While on the one hand, the government is
arresting farmers for cultivating GMO varieties, on the other, it is issuing statements, such as
‘there is no scientific evidence that GMOs are unsafe’ and backlashing scientists criticising
the technology, while continuing to import food products. We also discuss how the practice
of clearing of forests by burning them down to make way for farming highlights the unending
greed of the humankind. The capitalism in its extreme, is not only threatening the existence
of the green cover of our planet, but is also becoming an existential threat to the entire



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