Ensuring price stability and safety of Food: Prof M S Swaminathan
June 16, 2016: There is now widespread concern on the prevailing high rate of food inflation. Inflation in vegetable prices is particularly high, rising to 12.9% in May from 2.2% in April. Obviously this will further aggravate the problem of malnutrition, highlighted recently by the Global Nutrition Report. This year’s price rise is not new, such a situation occurs now and then. Therefore a permanent solution to food inflation should be found.
Urbanisation in India is growing and the problem of food inflation largely rises from the demand-supply gaps in urban areas. One way of stabilising the prices of vegetables and fruits in urban areas is to promote peri-urban horticulture by providing the necessary technical and marketing support. Decentralised production, as for example in Israel, could be supported by cooperative marketing. Urban and peri-urban ‘horticulture revolution’ could pave the way for more stable prices to the consumer. At the same time, we should ensure that the quality of the food remains high and free of pesticide residues and other unsafe chemicals. Thus we can ensure stability of supply coupled with high quality and safe food, while contributing to price stability.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.