THE NATION’S IRONY…?

Editorial GREATER JAMMU

The greatest irony of this nation is that there are millions who do not have the economic affordability to purchase food grains even at subsidized rates. Moreover huge amounts of food grains get rotted every year in India due to inadequate storage facilities. It was in this regard that the Supreme Court had once observed in a judgement that government should distribute food grains to needy and poor free of cost instead of allowing it to rot in huge quantities at the storage destinations across the nation. While producing all time high food-grains in the successive crop years the food problem continues to be one of the significant issues with not a less number of people having to sleep hungry. When we talk of the self sufficiency in terms of food grains another disturbing aspect is that the producers of food grains i.e. the farmers who toil hard to achieve the set targets continue to be in distress which is evident from the ground situation after having witnessed farmers agitating and resorting to suicides during the past few years. The farmers in India many times fall victim to weather vagaries especially due to droughts and floods. While the farmers can now play safe by buying the crop insurance policy Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, yet it needs to be supported by emphasizing upon diversification, market reforms and setting up of state and district committees for monitoring of agri-schemes which can be in the best interest of farmer community that feeds this great nation. Since the nation has achieved self sufficiency in food production long ago, today there is a dire need to focus on two vital aspects. Firstly there is a need to ensure that even the poorest of the poor gets square meals a day besides no food grains go waste due to rotting. Secondly there is a need to ameliorate the deplorable condition of farmers who feed this nation. While we have masterpiece legislations aimed at ensuring that food reaches every Indian irrespective of the economic strength of individuals but the past experience has not been good as we have failed to achieve any commendable results in this regard. A meticulous analysis of the available facts and figures of the past points out towards flaws in implementation of schemes launched to address these two important concerns. It is hoped that all the stakeholders of Agriculture sector especially those concerned with nation’s planning gear up to prepare and roll out a well tailored integrated and proactive policy capable of plugging the loopholes in implementation of food security as well as farmer welfare policies. Last but not the least the Apex Court’s observation in a judgement that government should distribute food grains to poor and needy free of cost instead of allowing it to rot in huge quantities at the storage destinations, needs to be translated on ground in true letter and spirit, besides enduring that more than adequate funds are allocated for the storage infrastructure so that no food grains ever go waste due to rotting in the world’s largest democracy.