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What's behind India's food mountains and the widening problem of plenty?

There have been a few moves to mitigate the issue, but it may take years to make a difference; there is no other way to move beyond policies born of a shortage mentality and come into the modern age

T N Ninan

India has moved from famines and agricultural shortages to surpluses. The country produces more food than it can consume: more rice, more sugar, more milk, and frequently more tomatoes, onions and potatoes. There are 68 million tonnes of wheat and rice in stock, more than twice what buffer stocking norms require. Milk production has been growing at four times the rate of population growth. That’s true of potatoes too, whose production has increased by 80 per cent in a decade, while the population has grown by less than 20 per cent. Sugar output this year is expected to be 32 million ...