FE Editorial : Food for thought
There is the element of cost—Gulati and his co-authors point out the costs will be around R6.8 lakh crore over 3 years, or double what the government estimates. Given FCI’s obvious inability to even deal with the current level of procurement—around 18 million tonnes of the 80 million tonnes of grain stock are stored in the open—they say the storage losses will rise dramatically since the FSB requires procurement levels to be hiked 25-30%. They then point to the fact that excessive dependence on wheat and rice has resulted in the water table falling, so when the FSB comes in, farmers will be encouraged to grow more rice and wheat when, in fact, they should be encouraged to diversify away. Ironically, Punjab is trying to diversify away from wheat
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