News / Asia

Indian Government Takes Heat for Rotting Wheat

A laborer pulls at a sack of rotting wheat grain to try to salvage any that was still edible, at an open storage area in Khamanon village, some 215 kilometers (133 miles) from Amritsar, India.
A laborer pulls at a sack of rotting wheat grain to try to salvage any that was still edible, at an open storage area in Khamanon village, some 215 kilometers (133 miles) from Amritsar, India.
TEXT SIZE - +

India's government is coming under fire for letting tons of wheat from the country's bumper crop rot away.  There is a growing controversy in a country where nearly half of all children do not get enough to eat.

In Bhopal, India anger and frustration boil over -  protesters clashing with police, blaming government officials for letting their harvests go to waste.

On Thursday, Punjab state's deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal placed the blame at the top. "The grain is not with us, it is in the custody of the FCI [Food Corporation of India]. So it is FCI's property, if they have let it rot its FCI's problem," he said.

In New Delhi, Food Minister K.V. Thomas was quick to dismiss any concerns. "I had a discussion with the minister of agriculture of Punjab a few days back. My report is that they are managing all these things," he said.
 

Indian Government Takes Heat for Rotting Wheati
|| 0:00:00
X
Jeff Seldin
May 10, 2012
India's government is coming under fire for letting tons of wheat from the country's bumper crop rot away. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more on a growing controversy in a country where nearly half of all children do not get enough to eat.

But pictures from around India tell a different story - piles of wheat at this grain market in Rajasthan exposed to the elements, rotting away following a heavy rainfall.

Another pile makes a comfortable bed for a dog. Farmers are outraged.

"Even looking at all this, there is no mercy for farmers," said farmer Raghu. "There is no administration or collector to look into the matter. Anybody who comes here just gives assurance that our work will be done soon. But no one comes after that."

The vast shortage of storage facilities has sparked bitter debate in New Delhi, where officials have said there is simply no where to put an estimated 12 million tons of surplus grain this year.

So for now there is little hope for farmers, forced to watch as their good grain goes bad.
 


Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid