Devinder Sharma in DH today:
There can be nothing more disappointing. After 63 years of Independence, the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) has also expressed its helplessness in feeding the country’s hungry.What about China, they aren't doing too well are they?
The hungry must live in hunger. That’s the clear verdict. For a country which has the largest population of hungry in the world, and given that half of all children in India is under-nourished according to the National Family Health Survey III (2005-06), I was expecting Sonia Gandhi to spell out a time-bound programme to make hunger history. But from what we read in newspapers, the NAC recommendations will not make any significant difference to the life of millions of hungry and malnourished.
Let us look at China. Its population is approximately 200 million more than that of India. Against India’s foodgrain production of 230 million tonnes, China produces 500 million tonnes of foodgrains. Even with more than double food production, it imports huge quantities every year to meet the domestic needs. Unlike India, which exports foodgrains and other agricultural commodities by keeping its own people hungry, China has emerged as a major importer of food and agricultural products primarily to feed its teeming millions.Sad.
In India, the average per capita availability of food grains is less than 500 gm a day. On the other hand, China provides six times more at 3 kg per day.