'Long way to go before Food Bill becomes reality'
The much talked-about National Food Security Bill may soon get the nod of the Rajya Sabha. But it will still have a long way to go before becoming a determining factor in the country, according to Chief Secretary S V Ranganath.
Ranganath was speaking at the one-day seminar on food security jointly organised by the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) and the Indian Institute of Public Administration.
According to him, the passage of the Food Security Bill by itself will not be enough.
Strengthening the agricultural sector and improving food production will go a long way in bringing out the true essence of the Bill. There needs to a paradigm shift in governance to tackle the challenges posed by the Food Security Bill, some of these being rampant corruption and unavailability of space for storage causing huge losses (40 per cent) of the total food produced every year.
Ranganath pointed outthat although the country had achieved phenomenal growth in a number of sectors like IT, it was still grappling with the task of providing basic needs like elementary education, healthcare and nutrition.
“Around 70 per cent of infants in India between the ages of six months and 36 months are anaemic and nearly half (43 per cent) of them are underweight,” Ranganath said.
Vice Chancellor, UAS, Dr K Narayana Gowda talked about building confidence among farmers with regard to their profession so as to attract the new generation to the sector. He said farmers should be encouraged to form their own associations to address the needs of their profession.