The import of wheat after 6 years has raised serious doubts about the processes in place to achieve the key goal of food self-sufficiency and a preeminent think tank has called for a revamp of agriculture products procurement, storing, and public distribution processes. The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has said that the involvement of private trade with a more responsive policy regime are two most essential changes required in any policy reform to ensure future food security.
The NCAER has pointed out that the Food Corporation of India had overflowing stocks of 63 million tons (mt) only four years ago encouraging the Government to launch populist programs that caused rapid depletion of wheat from Public Distribution System leading to less than 2 mt of wheat this April instead of the normal 4 mt. It said that “urgent corrective steps” were required to amend this trend instead of blaming lower agricultural productivity on rainfall deficiencies and changes in weather patterns. Specifically, it said the nation needs to check rapid deceleration of agricultural productivity, slowdown in technological development, pervasive ecological degradation from populist policies, and improper investments in agriculture.