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Tackle food crisis on priority

I read H.K. Dua’s article, “The daily bread: Failure to tackle food crisis can be unsettling” (June 18). Today’s global food crisis is due to the demand and supply gap. However, it is difficult to figure out any particular factor responsible for this gap. Some experts say, underutilisation of natural resources and hike in fuel prices are the main factors while others say that the farmers’ neglect and deficit in governance, specially in developing countries, are responsible for inadequate foodgrain production.

A recent IMF report indicates more than 40 per cent increase in food prices globally in the past year. We need to evolve some strategy for increasing the production of foodgrains in a sustainable manner instead of blaming each other for the mess by both developed and developing countries. Apparently, the Centre is sensitive towards this issue. That is why, steps have already been initiated to waive off the farmers’ loans to relieve them from the debt trap on priority. In addition, remunerative procurement price should also be offered on national market prices to make them economically sound.

One should also tap the natural resources for soil health enrichment. It will help minimise the yield cost and keep it within the common man’s reach. Such steps will also help us achieve UN Millennium Development Goal to reduce hunger and poverty by 2015.



The issue of affordable food as the basic world human right need to be addressed collectively and objectively. The world spent $1200 billion in 2006 on arms, and to eradicate the hunger of 862 millions worldwide, it just needs $ 24 billion. The elite countries handling the food and agriculture business can solve the problem in a flash.

The lion’s share today is going to livestock for non-vegetarian food, and cars by way of ethanol, a supplement of gas (petrol). The Trojan horse of conspiracy is led by the US, a sort of genocide, which runs the bio-fuel industries and arms supplies triggering a crisis. To save the world between sustainable diet and malnutrition, the world needs to look at the problem globally.

There is enough food and the capacity to produce to cater to the world’s needs. India, however, can handle the problem more easily, with more vegetarian population and little petrol substitute support. We can develop ethanol industry with non-edible material available in abundance going as waste now.

Let us, therefore, go for a second green revolution and once the basic need of grains is hugely produced and made surplus, the prices of all other commodities will become affordable. Surplus and volume is the secret of healthy economy.



George Bush has made off the cuff remarks holding India responsible for the food crisis, particularly accusing the Indian middle class people for this.

President Bush has perhaps forgotten that Indians know how to tide over the food crisis. In the 1960s, when faced with acute food crisis, the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri advised Indians to miss a meal on Mondays to meet the crisis. Shastri’s advice worked wonderfully.

The present food crisis partially seems to be man-made. While sensing shortage of food items, hoarders and blackmarketeers make huge profits by selling them at exorbitant rates from the back door. For fear of losing their vote bank, the political leaders patronise these hoarders and blackmarketeers.

Encouraging and protecting hoarders when the countrymen are facing the worst-ever food crisis is morally wrong and patently criminal. Those who ignore the dictates of the authorities need to be sternly dealt with.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)


President Bush’s remarks, sarcastic though, are realistic. The poor countries of Asia and Africa, deficient in food production, are not wasting food. How can a family waste it when it seems unable to arrange two square meals a day?

The US has always dominated the world economy. Oil prices and the Iraq war are its gifts. The oil prices have been rising sharply after the Iraq war. The US and NATO are destroying Afghanistan’s economy and humanity, in fighting the so-called war on terror.

The government has neglected the domestic food production. The sharp price rise is also a result of its wrong policies. We should not feel shy of taking the remedial steps immediately. The defunct family planning programme be pursued vigorously and agricultural production must be improved. Farming should be made a profitable and remunerative profession. SEZs and MNCs should not gobble up precious agricultural land.

In short, we need another green revolution. No doubt, this is a tall order for our political leaders. But we have to take timely measures to resolve the food crisis.


Towards a two-party system

In a well-focused article, “33 years ago” (June 25), A.J. Philip has brought out a correspondent’s agenda and how the Emergency, imposed 33 years ago, came as an assault on the press freedom to report the truth, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s reservations notwithstanding.

Asking a foreign correspondent to give an undertaking to the government that he would not write anything which was not in the national interest amounted to reining in all foreign and Indian correspondents and making them subservient to the government.

On the same analogy, no Indian correspondent abroad should write anything against the country where he is posted. This has never happened and shall never happen. No wonder, Indira Gandhi had to pay a heavy price and the people of this country threw her out in the elections. Sadly, the Janata Party government could not last long. A lesson for the citizens is: Vote for one party whole-heartedly so that it can deliver the goods and fulfill its promises.

The media should help opinion building in favour of the two-party system which has been working very successfully in the UK, USA, etc.

C.K. SARDANA, Bhopal



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