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Hunger In India States 'alarming'  
User currently offlineOa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27005 posts, RR: 57
Posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1923 times:

Twelve Indian states have "alarming" levels of hunger while the situation is "extremely alarming" in the state of Madhya Pradesh, says a new report.
Madhya Pradesh's nutrition problems, it says, are comparable to the African countries of Ethiopia and Chad.
India has more people suffering hunger - a figure above 200 million - than any other country in the world, it says.
The report, released as part of the 2008 Global Hunger Index, ranks India at 66 out 88 countries.

"Despite years of robust economic growth, India scored worse than nearly 25 sub-Saharan African countries and all of South Asia, except Bangladesh," the report says.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7669152.stm

--------------------------------

With steps can and are the Indian government taking to solve this issue?? Why has economic growth by passed the most vunerable?

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1921 times:



Quoting Oa260 (Thread starter):
With steps can and are the Indian government taking to solve this issue?? Why has economic growth by passed the most vunerable?

Good question, and something the "India Shining" types seem to, for the most part, studiously avoid addressing.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt once observed, "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."


User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1105 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1875 times:

After being to India, this is not really surprising unfortunately. Hopefully their economy will continue to grow and the hunger issue will be resolved.

User currently offlineSv7887 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1025 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1871 times:



Quoting Oa260 (Thread starter):
Madhya Pradesh's nutrition problems, it says, are comparable to the African countries of Ethiopia and Chad.
India has more people suffering hunger - a figure above 200 million - than any other country in the world, it says.
The report, released as part of the 2008 Global Hunger Index, ranks India at 66 out 88 countries.

200 Million in a nation of 1 Billion....Thats about 20% of India's population. 10 yrs of economic growth isn't going to make up for nearly 50 yrs of constant population growth far beyond the economic resources of the country. India is slated to overtake China in population at it's current growth rates.

India is a large ship and difficult to steer, whether it be corruption, bloated bureaucracy, or just the immense population, it's going to take more than 10 yrs to fix it.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 1):
Good question, and something the "India Shining" types seem to, for the most part, studiously avoid addressing.

The India of my parents time was largely hand to mouth, even with an education you couldn't get anywhere. India had to trade gold just to conduct Forex transactions.That has changed dramatically in India. People with a decent education CAN get good paying jobs. The amount of foreign investment has changed drastically under Prime MInister Manmohan Singh's policies. India is still a third world country, but one that is starting to grow out of its problems.

For those who grew up in India up until the 1980's the India shining analogy holds well. There is a rapidly growing Middle Class that didn't exist, 20 yrs ago and a sharp reduction in the brain drain as people have opted to stay in Indian rather than come abroad. The country is completely changed from the 1980's my friends and relatives can't scarcely believe themselves.

But it's impossible for 10 yrs of economic growth to raise everyone out of poverty. India as a country has existed since 1947 and was largely a hand to mouth country. We've had about 10 yrs of solid growth. The kind of change that article is looking for doesn't happen overnight.


User currently offlineBarfBag From India, joined Mar 2001, 2232 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1843 times:

There are a bunch of issues intersecting here. It isn't simply a question of lacking money to buy food:

a) The agricultural sector is the LEAST reformed of the three . Services are by far the most liberalized and dynamic, increasingly followed by manufacturing, thanks to the new China-like special economic zones. But agriculture ? Too many bizarrely stupid regulations, part wellmeaning but hopelessly impractical, part cynically politically motivated. This affects food production and distribution. The end result is both less than optimal yields, and gross wastage, not to mention poor agricultural income growth and low investments, sustaining a vicious cycle.

There have been recent reforms, such as the growing interest in contract farming and corporate involvement (e.g. ITC), both of which have shown immediate results, as the sudden growth in annual agricultural output shows. But with a vast population, benefits for all will take time. The best thing the government can do is get the hell out of the way.

b) Cultural artifacts: The whole 'men in the family eat first, women then eat the leftovers' BS has got to stop. It has less to do with imposition upon women and more to do with ingrained attitudes no one seems to bother to think through - either the men or the women.

c) Nutritional habits: I love my native cuisine, but the more I think of it, the more I feel it is not tailored to effective childhood and adolescent nutrition. At least, not unless people make a proper effort to understand the nutritional value of the food. Daily idli/sambar breakfast is not a very nutritional meal, for example. There's too much starch and too little protein, plus the emphasis on dinner over breakfast leads to obesity and diabetes - a chronic problem.

However, anyone who's spent the last two decades seeing changes in India will have seen the significant increase in the heights of kids. They are significantly taller now on average than 10 years ago, though they are still lanky and not 'filled out'.

The problem being a nation with a big demographic base is that everything looks huge - the achievements and the challenges. Unlike the attitudes I saw among older people as a kid, I now see a great deal of confidence in people around me, and conviction about India's progress, and I'm sure this problem is something we'll overcome too.



India, cricket junior and senior world champions
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27005 posts, RR: 57
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1781 times:



Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 2):
After being to India, this is not really surprising unfortunately.

I just remember being shocked by the contrasts and Im not totally foreign to the culture. Its the only thing that put me off and some of the people trying to cheat me .


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1775 times:



Quoting BarfBag (Reply 4):
There are a bunch of issues intersecting here.

I had a discussion about this very subject one time with an Indian colleague, and you're right. There is a direct connection between hunger, nutrition, cultural outlook, resources, farming methods, technology, and agricultural policy. These issues are not just associated but there are direct linkages.

It's of interest to me because on one level my advanced degree is in agricultural law. It also ought to be of great interest to everyone who likes to eat because lest we forget every mouthful of food comes from the dirt of the farm and the sweat of the man or woman between the rows in the hot sun.

With that said, we were talking about farm subsidies and world prices for commodity crops-mostly wheat and cotton, and some well publicized suicides of distraught farmers in some places in India who weren't making it at all. This was before the most recent collapse of the Doha round of world trade talks.

What I told him was more or less that farm subsidies in the west act as floors under the world prices of commodity crops and that Indian farmers get the benefit of that indirectly when they haul their crops to market and get the world price. (I'm not entirely sure about this any more but never mind).

He said "Oh. That's not how it's done here. Most of our farmers are smallholders owning maybe five acres or less who get no such benefit. They're usually in debt up to their eyeballs with the village moneylender because of the money they borrowed for marriage dowries. So they sell their crop to the village moneylender for whatever they can get, and the village moneylender collects the grain and he's the one who gets the benefit of world prices for commodities. The soil's tired, farmers cannot afford sufficient fertilizer, chemicals, hybrid seed and machinery, and their productivity is therefore generally low when compared with farmers in your country or in the developed world."

What I told him was that what he was doing was making an argument for technological, social, legal, cultural and agricultural reform at its most fundamental level in his country if the goal was to produce sufficient food for all, and not an argument about the supposed fundamental unfairness of matters half a world away.

Of course the subject of genetically engineered crops came up as it usually does in these discussions. We grow them here, and a lot of other folks do not. We generally believe in applying technology where we find it but that can't be said of people in the rest of the world. We've been doing this for a while now and nobody's gotten sick from it, although it matters go as I expect someone, probably a European (sorry folks, it's the truth) will turn this discussion into a rant about Monsanto.

I'm in mind of the words of Norman Borlaug who said "If you want peace, work for justice. But while you are working for justice plant the fields, because without food there will be no peace."


User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1777 times:

I think basically a country with nuclear weapons should be able to feed its people, at least.

User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7413 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1760 times:

India probably needs a one child policy like China. Without some form of population management India is never going to be able to feed itself properly.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1745 times:



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 8):
India probably needs a one child policy like China

In a Democracy that would be tough to implement.Its up to the citizens to think correctly.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27005 posts, RR: 57
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1723 times:



Quoting Andaman (Reply 7):
I think basically a country with nuclear weapons should be able to feed its people, at least.

Hmm true but I think the Nuclear deal is more for energy to power the country and the rural poor areas should be their first priority or the deal should not have been signed. They have a moral obligation to make people in poor areas benefit and not just the rich in their penthouses in Mumbai.


User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1710 times:



Quoting OA260 (Reply 10):
Hmm true but I think the Nuclear deal is more for energy to power the country

I can understand India needs nuclear energy but nuclear weapons is a different thing, many countries have the plants without the bombs ,)


User currently offlineSv7887 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1025 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1709 times:



Quoting Andaman (Reply 11):

Quoting OA260 (Reply 10):
Hmm true but I think the Nuclear deal is more for energy to power the country

I can understand India needs nuclear energy but nuclear weapons is a different thing, many countries have the plants without the bombs ,)

Give me a break. Would you say the same thing to the US, EU, and China? When the West failed to stop China from acquiring nuclear weapons this was inevitable. If you wonder why India has them, then look into the conflict with China in the early 1960s.


Look at this article on how the middle class is benefiting from India's economic growth
http://www.time.com/time/asia/covers/501041206/two_indias_vpt_das.html


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1703 times:



Quoting Andaman (Reply 7):
I think basically a country with nuclear weapons should be able to feed its people, at least.

Nuclear weapons are not very good fertilizer. A bomb has never successfully been harnessed to the plow.

I think you're making a value judgment here, the point of which escapes me, unless it's about the allocation of resources in a country with poor areas, that are necessary to develop nuclear weapons and how those resources could be better used elsewhere.

The two things are not mutually exclusive, you know. I figure the Indians are smart enough and energetic enough to figure out how to feed everyone and build bombs as well, if that's the goal and they don't get sidetracked. Quite a number of people in India see a great deal of promise in genetically modified crops that might increase wealth in the farm sector and feed more people.

With India's increasing GDP there is more demand for higher quality food-people with money to burn like to eat well. that's the first thing they think about.

What will feed everyone in India is yield. How India gets there is an open question.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...09/19/stories/2007091950680900.htm

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...09/25/stories/2004092500070800.htm

The last is a very well written article that contains the following:

"Clearly, then, Indian farmers are cost-competitive relative to their American counterparts in virtually every farm product.

This is notwithstanding per hectare yields in the US averaging about 7.8 tonnes for paddy, 8.6 tonnes for corn, 2.8 tonnes for sorghum, 2.6 tonnes for peanut, 2.8 tonnes for soybean and 647 kg for cotton lint, against the corresponding Indian levels of 3 tonnes, 1.8 tonnes, 0.8 tonnes, one tonne, 1.1 tonne and 220 kg, respectively.

An average US cow yields over 9,000 kg of milk in a year which, again, is thrice what crossbreeds here typically produce. Only in wheat are average US yields, at 2.4 tonnes per hectare, lower than the 2.7 tonnes of India.

How do Indian farmers produce crops at a lower cost, despite their yields being nowhere near American or European levels? The main reason for this is the capital-intensive nature of agriculture in the West. The USDA's production cost estimates cover both 'operating costs' as well as 'ownership costs'."

It also concludes that Indian farmers are not recovering the cost of production.

http://www.nerve.in/news:25350053353


User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1702 times:



Quoting Sv7887 (Reply 12):
Would you say the same thing to the US, EU, and China?

I wish they all would be free of nuclear weapons... and all EU countries are not in NATO.
It's just double sad how counties like India put huge amounts of money to build their armies.


User currently offlineSv7887 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1025 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1698 times:



Quoting Andaman (Reply 14):
Quoting Sv7887 (Reply 12):
Would you say the same thing to the US, EU, and China?

I wish they all would be free of nuclear weapons... and all EU countries are not in NATO.
It's just double sad how counties like India put huge amounts of money to build their armies.

Take some time and look their history to see why they do that. Having fought in four wars against Pakistan it's necessary for them to maintain a deterrent. The Chinese invaded India and beat them quite badly, so that memory is still ingrained in the minds of India's military. They aren't exactly in a good neighborhood but they are pragmatic enough to ensure that their economic growth isn't hampered by excessive military spending.

Prime Minister Singh is a very pragmatic guy and the architect of India's economic success. He's isn't going to engage in any foolish warmonging, it's not really in India's best interest to do so.


User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6816 posts, RR: 34
Reply 16, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1679 times:



Quoting Oa260 (Thread starter):
India has more people suffering hunger - a figure above 200 million - than any other country in the world, it says.



Quoting Sv7887 (Reply 3):
200 Million in a nation of 1 Billion....Thats about 20% of India's population. 10 yrs of economic growth isn't going to make up for nearly 50 yrs of constant population growth far beyond the economic resources of the country. India is slated to overtake China in population at it's current growth rates.

And those hungry mouths and the population growth will strip the resources of he flat or negative population West. This could be a demographic timebomb.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 6):
What I told him was that what he was doing was making an argument for technological, social, legal, cultural and agricultural reform at its most fundamental level in his country if the goal was to produce sufficient food for all, and not an argument about the supposed fundamental unfairness of matters half a world away.

Very well said, sir!


User currently offlineBarfBag From India, joined Mar 2001, 2232 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1641 times:



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 6):
With that said, we were talking about farm subsidies and world prices for commodity crops-mostly wheat and cotton, and some well publicized suicides of distraught farmers in some places in India who weren't making it at all.

The farm suicides were related to farmers overleveraging themselves. Moneylenders charging usurious rates still have a big involvement in the farm sector, while they are non-existent elsewhere. Farmers chose cash crops based on spurts in demand for certain crops, and a subsequent glut causing prices to crash.

The notion that money is largely spent on just trivialities like marriage dowries is too narrow and anecdotal. Broadly, investment in agriculture stagnated for ~15 years between early 1990s to mid 2000s. There was significant progress in the late 60s-early 70s period, and again in the mid-late 80s period, and again now, thanks to farm reforms.

While the government did not collectivize farms during the old socialist days, it still overwhelmingly controls procurement and distribution, as well as production and distribution of fertilizers. The manner in which these are implemented is poor. Arbitrary procurement costs mean the government procurement prices act as a floor, but farmers lose out on profits when prices rise significantly.

Regarding GM food, I've a visceral dislike of the entire idea of a foreign corporate entity whose product has such invasive implications to our food security. Everything from the IP control over seeds supply to the prerequisites for fertilizers is much too invasive. It is a question of control over food security. Without Indian control over the IP and production, I'm not inclined to view it positively. Nevertheless, India still has a massive GM cropping area.

Quoting Andaman (Reply 7):
I think basically a country with nuclear weapons should be able to feed its people, at least.

That's rather sweeping and shallow isn't it ? Countries have disenfranchised entire races or subjugated their populations under totalitarian rule, while holding nuclear weapons. Please don't use this thread to push your anti-nuclear agenda.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 8):
India probably needs a one child policy like China. Without some form of population management India is never going to be able to feed itself properly.

There already is a drastic change in population growth directly attributed to urbanization and nuclearization of families, without official efforts. People now want to live in cities and work, and at most have a single kid. The local parlance for the trend is DINK/DISK (double income, no/single kids).

I would be interested in knowing how they measured 'hunger' in the article originally quoted. I would not be surprised if the issue is not caloric value as much as nutritional value - vitamins and nutrients as well as protein in particular. In more cases than I can remember, the lack of knowledge of nutritional value of food is a greater problem than absolute access to food.



India, cricket junior and senior world champions
User currently offlineBarfBag From India, joined Mar 2001, 2232 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1637 times:



Quoting Andaman (Reply 14):
It's just double sad how counties like India put huge amounts of money to build their armies.

We live in a bad area. For neighbours, we have a bunch of countries that rank in the top 10-15 of the failed states index - Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Afghanistan. Excluding those we have a nation that's been facing chronic civil war for quarter of a century (Sri Lanka), and another aggressive totaltarian state with an enormous chip on their shoulder about having been wronged in the past (China). Every once in a while we face border claims, refugee crises, etc.

Countries can have large militaries and strong economies, if they encourage innovation and technological development in the military-industrial sphere and have strong production facilities for them. A gun or a plane is after all, another product, no different from a Nokia cellphone. It puts money in the hands of the worker making it, which feeds the person and their family. India has a GDP of ~$1200 billion and spends ~$25 billion on its armed forces each year - barely 2% of GDP. Annual growth in defence budget barely keeps up with annual GDP growth rate.

It is spending on buying weapons from the west that is an issue, and something I think India should focus on replacing with domestic wares instead. Why waste money buying high tech weaponry from Scandinavia and elsewhere when we can build it here.



India, cricket junior and senior world champions
User currently offlineBravo45 From United States of America, joined exactly 13 years ago today! , 2165 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1632 times:



Quoting BarfBag (Reply 18):
We live in a bad area. For neighbours, we have a bunch of countries that rank in the top 10-15 of the failed states index - Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Afghanistan.

 rotfl  rotfl  rotfl 

Yeah they are responsible for India being worse than most of them. I am surprised you didn't say Pakistan is alone responsible for it all.

Bad area?? Lemme see, you didn't mention the hundreds of separatist movements in India ranging from Communists to who knows what. They make the area worse than the area would be without Indian influence.


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1625 times:



Quoting BarfBag (Reply 17):
Regarding GM food, I've a visceral dislike of the entire idea of a foreign corporate entity whose product has such invasive implications to our food security. Everything from the IP control over seeds supply to the prerequisites for fertilizers is much too invasive. It is a question of control over food security. Without Indian control over the IP and production, I'm not inclined to view it positively. Nevertheless, India still has a massive GM cropping area.

It's understandable, but you have to know that Monsanto and Pioneer are not the only people involved-some of your own seed companies are doing the exact same thing. Some companies like Stine do not patent their seed lines but exact a license from the end user like the shrink wrap license on software.

However technology always spreads outward and India will profit from this technology, if not by importing it by utilizing the genius of its scientists and plant breeders.

In many ways it's a tossup. You may spend more on fertilizer and a lot less on pesticides if the crop's got the bT gene. Bugs don't like to eat it. There are other applications of genetic technology that promise to produce more and better quality food crops at substantially lower cost and environmental damage because they're simply applied technology.

It's as puzzling to me as insisting on candles when electric light is readily available.

One manifestation of this is the market's quest for "never ever" food-I have friends who raise hogs, and they will also produce a never ever hog if you want it-that's an animal that's never ever had antibiotics. You end up paying a very large premium because a lot of the animals suffer and die from treatable illnesses. A single epidemic can sweep through a farm and wipe out a herd, and you're going to pay for that too.

When you figure that the animal will metabolize and excrete all the antibiotics given in a matter of days, not providing them to sick critters is a matter of animal cruelty practiced by foodies. But I didn't say that.



The contrast is in stark relief in India. There, it isn't a question of already overfed European foodies who are dictating policy but a real crying need for more productivity to raise the standard of living for the people in the villages.

If I thought that GM foods were dangerous or needed more testing I'd say so, but in the 15 years I've been watching this debate there hasn't been one proven case of any harm that's come to any American from consuming GM food. 75 to 80 per cent of the corn and soya raised here is GM.

In the end it is like Borlaug says-without food there will be no peace.


User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3592 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1621 times:

A little note to you all.

India does not have a problem producing enough food.

In fact, India is a net EXPORTER of foodstuffs.

In 2006, India's agricultural imports were Rs 220 billion and exports were Rs 398 Billion.

http://india.gov.in/citizen/agriculture/import_export.php

India also has the second largest middle class population (in gross numbers) in the world, second only to the USA.

I go to India at least once a year and there is no question that there is poverty there, but I question where this report's numbers came from. BBC's article looks more like the parroting of a news release from organizations with their own agendas, rather than unbiased reporting of facts.


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1616 times:



Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 21):
India does not have a problem producing enough food.

In fact, India is a net EXPORTER of foodstuffs.

Ireland was a net exporter of foodstuffs during the Great Famine of 1845 as well, yet uncounted tens of thousands starved to death for want of food and were driven off the land.

The problem, you see, was not that the countryside could not produce enough food, but that the landowners had their own ideas about how it should be distributed and ended up selling their wheat and mutton for cash in Britain while the peasantry starved in the streets and lanes. One thing that saved the survivors was grain brought from the United States.

It's passing strange that the landlords sold their grain and hogs and sheep in Britain for cash and were willing to see people starve by the thousands while at one and the same time grain was being brought from the US to feed starving people.


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1597 times:

Farmers in the 3rd world tend to be very conservative and technology is the key to improved output of farming.
I think the cast and drowry system is definitly a problem as well.


User currently offlineBarfBag From India, joined Mar 2001, 2232 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1595 times:



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 20):
However technology always spreads outward and India will profit from this technology, if not by importing it by utilizing the genius of its scientists and plant breeders.

Indeed, but I'm not comfortable about the matter of GM foods until we do have control over the IP and production facilities. This is a matter about food. It's not like I'm talking about technology for manufacturing, say, TVs. I hold no particular care for sensationalist handwaving about 'frankenfoods' and all that stuff emanating from Europe. My sole concern is having assured control over the science and operations behind GM foods, under Indian control - public or private. 'Technology spreads out' is a rather vague and indefinite presumption.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 22):
Ireland was a net exporter of foodstuffs during the Great Famine of 1845 as well, yet uncounted tens of thousands starved to death for want of food and were driven off the land.

That is an exagerrated characterization. India does *produce* what can be termed as adequate food. Perhaps not from an American supersized perspective, but certainly enough to ensure that every last person in the country gets adequate quality food in his stomach 365 days a year. We're a net exporter of food and a net foreign aid donor, for the last half a decade, corresponding to the period of the recent economic boom.

The issues in the way, besides yield improvement, are the procurement and distribution system, that has negative repercussions on the farmer producing (due to unprofitable sale potential) and lack of access for the consumer due to lack of evolved storage, processing and distribution facilities.

There are political hurdles due to smalltime wholesalers and mom-pop stores vehemently opposing beneficial corporate involvement. There'll have to be some tradeoff, such as assured employment in the new retail chains. There's no dearth of money to invest in storage and distribution infrastructure - folks like the Ambani brothers are themselves itching to get in this business (look up Reliance Retail). The thing is how to make change happen, from a poorly organized farming and distribution sector, to a modern one, while simultaneously helping the build of farm employed folks find gainful employment elsewhere.



India, cricket junior and senior world champions
25 DLPMMM : Absolutely. A very good summary of the problem. India is not Ireland of the 19th Century.
26 Dougloid : See my comments below. Of course not, but you seemed to imply that because India is a net exporter that there was or could be no problem at all. The
27 Post contains links DLPMMM : Nope, I said There is no doubt that hunger and poverty exist in India, as it does to a varying degree in almost every country. My point was the repor
28 Aaron747 : A fair point, but how much extraurban migration is necessary before rural family sizes begin to stabilize? It would be difficult to make the case tha
29 BarfBag : And I made no such presumption in the first place. If US GM suppliers are just one of the entities in the market versus other Indian suppliers, with
30 Post contains links DLPMMM : The changes are already taking place at a good pace. The births per female in India have dropped from 6 to 3.1 in the last 50 years and is contiinuin
31 Post contains links Dougloid : Usually people are always talking that the BBC is level headed journalism at its finest. There's some good information on the topic here. It's the sa
32 Slider : On a serious note, I really appreciate the insight and analysis put forth by some of you on this--very educational. Thank you. On a whimsical note, ho
33 BarfBag : That's a red herring, sorry. It is neither a matter of nationalism nor the NIH syndrome, but having control over IP and production when it comes to f
34 DLPMMM : Yup. That was more to my point. The BBC's standards over the last 30 years have dropped precipitously to the point that they no longer are deserving
35 Dougloid : Nope. A red herring is "any diversion intended to distract attention from the main issue". That's not a diversion at all. Let me restate it so you un
36 DLPMMM : Quite true. However, the reform necessary is quite different from what many would anticipate. The reforms required are fairly simple in theory but di
37 Aaron747 : " target=_blank>http://indiabudget.nic.in/es2004-05/...9.pdf Thanks for the stats, it'll be interesting to plow through the document.
38 Dougloid : The World Food Prize is being given out this week here and there's a lot of stuff in the paper about food issues. One thing that I neglected to menti
39 BarfBag : Absolutely. Then you ought to agree that the idea of GM foods being IP protected and its production under control of one or more corporate entities i
40 DLPMMM : Everybody focusses on yield, but that is not so much the problem in India. Better yield methods also entail higher costs for either more expensive se
41 Dougloid : Mr. Bag, what about this statement did you not understand? Kinda knocks the props right out from under your argument, doesn't it? There is the issue
42 DLPMMM : Yields do no good if the food rots or is eaten by rats before it can make it to the consumer. You would be amazed at the number of middlemen that hav
43 BarfBag : Dougloid: As a measure of context: This would probably encapsulate the entire matter I disagree with you on. I do not support IP control over GM food.
44 Post contains links Blrsea : Along with transportation, we are also lacking in a mature food processing industry. Lots of fruits and vegetables are wasted every year due to shorta
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