Indiaretailing.com: Food Sector Wastage, a Key Concern
By Raja Ghosal
Through a special arrangement, what follows is an excerpt of an article from Indiaretailing.com, presented here for discussion.
The food sector is in great need of technological advancement and modernization as there is huge wastage that happens in this sector. This was pointed out by none other than India’s commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath in a video link address that he delivered at the India Retail Forum, 2008.
In his video address from Delhi, Kamal Nath said, “If we have to reach global standards in retail, it is important to bring in the right technology and quality to meet the demands of the consumers and most of all in the food sector.”
“Today, Indian fruits and vegetables are the highest in production in the world. We are the largest producer in the world, but 40 percent of fruits and vegetables are rotting,” lamented Mr. Nath. He stressed on the importance of cold chains to address the needs of the food sector. Mr. Nath said that if India has to reach global standards in retail and engage with the world then the retail industry must modernize itself across the spectrum and look at technological advancements.
It may be pointed out here that 98 percent of the fruit and vegetables produced in India are not yet processed in the organized sector. Similarly, even though India is the largest producer of milk in the world, 85 percent of the milk is not processed. The quantum of wastage that happens to fruits and vegetables in India is one of the highest in the world.
Discussion Question: How serious a problem is food wastage across the globe? How big an issue is food wastage in the U.S.? What can India learn from the waste reduction practices of the U.S. and other countries?