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.

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 8:11 PM
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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid