Food Wastage law In India
Food Wastage law In India
The food production in the country with over 230 million tons is claimed to be adequate to feed the population. But the hidden truth is that about 30% of the food is wasted in different forms, namely grains, fresh and processed items. The economic loss incurred due to food wastage is seldom highlighted and its implication in addressing the problem of chronic hunger is rarely understood.
In addition to the post harvest loss ranging from 25 to 35% among the food grains both as fresh and dry materials, the wastage of perishable items like vegetables and fruits also adds to the overall food basket lost in the system. The main reason attributed to loss of quantity and quality of grains is the poor storage and transport facilities in the country. Even the major go downs like Food Corporation of India lack infrastructure facilities to protect the valuable food items,
The data from the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington/New Delhi showed that while 20% of Indian population is undernourished based on calorie consumption (less than 1632 kcals per person per day, the cut off level), equally 20% of the population are overfed, that consume more than calorie requirement (more than 2500kcal).
In terms of absolute values it runs to millions of people who are heavy eaters, denying thereby the poorest of the poor even a normal food per day. It is the rich to richest class come under the latter category who are by and large insensitive / indifferent to the wastage of food vis-à-vis the ‘hunger’ among the poorest. The farmers work hard to produce food to almost required levels but the consumers are the ones, along with the business agencies, who are responsible for the overall food inaccessibility to the most needy who are driven to chronic hunger.
Law should be passed by the respective law makers to tackle problem of food wastage by the state and the citizens . Few of the suggestions for the law are :
1.Excessive leftovers will be banned.
a) Restaurants will have the right to charge an extra fee to any patron who leaves excessive quantities of uneaten food.
b) Vendors who deceive or mislead consumers into ordering excessive amounts of food could be charged up to Rs 10000
c) Restaurants that consistently waste large quantities of food may be fined up to 10000 Rs.
2 . It must be compulsory for the food left in weddings to be given to the poor and hungry and if food is found to left over at weddings then fine up to Rs 80000 must be imposed with 2 months of jail time .
3 . The FCCI must be allotted money from government funds to upgrade its transportation and storage infrastructure from time to time. Adoption of new methods in order to conserve perishable items like fruits and vegetables . Fair supply of nutritional food items other than grains must be deliberated upon in this time of excess of food grains and shortage in procurement of vegetables and fruits