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India deeply impacted by rising food costs

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posted on May, 2 2010 @ 06:23 PM
With over a billion people and one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, whatever happens in India is of global significance. Seems food inflation there is taking on a particularly ugly dimension.

This is, of course, nowhere near the scale of some of India's more horrific historical famines, but it is a worrying sign. And as India becomes more developed, it will have to pay careful attention to food security; generally risign economic powers take up more calories and eat more food higher on the food chain, which in turn impacts prices and supply globally.

Food inflation that has been stuck in the double digits for a year has had a deep impact on school lunches, family meals and holy offerings. Anger with high prices erupted into protests this week that disrupted flights, trains and traffic. While policymakers debate how to feed people without driving the country deeper in debt, Indians grapple with the sad arithmetic of how to do more with less.

Fruit is becoming a luxury. People have cut back on protein. Vegetable sellers complain profits are down because people are buying less.

...Officially, food inflation neared 22 percent in December, a 17-year high. By March it had eased to 16.7 percent, with the cost of wheat 14 percent higher than a year ago and pulses like the lentils known as dal — a crucial source of protein in a nation full of vegetarians — up 31 percent.

It's too early to say whether sustained high food prices will aggravate malnutrition, but advocates worry escalating costs are eroding the diets of millions in a country where one in two children was malnourished before the price spike.

"There are large numbers of people who even in good times don't have sufficient food intake," said Harsh Mander, who was appointed by the Supreme Court to monitor hunger in India.

He estimates that 80 million to 200 million Indians go to sleep hungry each night.

...India's deeper problem is a widening gap between supply and demand. Even as the population grows and increasing wealth fattens many appetites, farm productivity has stagnated. India's food supply chain suffers from massive waste and profiteering middlemen whose commissions can account for up to half the final cost of food...

More at source:

posted on May, 2 2010 @ 07:41 PM
reply to post by silent thunder

Sounds like the demand for food in India is high and the supply is a tad low. Seems like the natural economic thing to do is raise prices on all of the crops we sell to India.

posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:53 PM
There are probably several factors contributing to this.

Higher incomes have people demanding more & higher quality food items, including meats & animal proteins.

Animals take a lot of feed[food] to raise, as well as a huge additional quantity of water.
Meat is more expensive & produces less food than it took to feed the animal in most cases.

In the US some former food crop farmers have now switched to raising government subsidized corn for ethanol, which has caused food prices to rise globally.

China has seen a lot of food price inflation, again with rising incomes & tastes for more expensive/richer diets.

Since world markets are much more global today that tends to cause food prices to rise around the globe.

China's rapidly growing demand for milk has boosted prices for dairy products; the price of a liter of milk [in Germany] is predicted to rise by 50 percent by the time schools reopen in September.
. . .
Inflation in China has risen to over 4 percent, but food prices, which increased by 7.6 percent, have led the way. The most dramatic price rise has been in
pork, the price of which has
jumped 60 percent over a year ago

I think an even bigger concern is the amount of fresh drinking water available to people, agriculture & industry.

And with fracking for natural gas in the US poisoning ground water we are looking at problems here on that front.

Anyone else in favor of limiting human population growth until we have much better, more sustainable technologies or places for us to live in outer space [off planet]?

Anyone else in favor of stopping the insanity of fracking dead in its toxic tracks?

posted on May, 2 2010 @ 09:47 PM

Originally posted by slank
Anyone else in favor of limiting human population growth until we have much better, more sustainable technologies or places for us to live in outer space [off planet]?

Basically, yes, but I have ambivalent feelings on the topic.

For a long time, I subscribed to the "depopulation agenda"-type ideas that are popular on ATS, such as, "TBTB want to kill almost everyone off and make the survivors their slaves," etc. There probably are people in power who would like do this, and it represents a kind of monstorous evil.

BUT, even so, I now believe there are just too many people on this planet. The world population has doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled within the living memories of people alive today. That kind of sharp curve just isn't healthy or good for either the human species or the rest of the planet.

The problem is figuring out an ethical way to deal with the issue. It's very thorny because once you start telling certain people they can't have kids, you are playing with moral fire. One thing that is encouraging: when societies become more developed, their birth rates generally drop. I think most people in the third world would be happy to have one or two kids at most if they could guarantee the lives of the children better, and if they had access to better birth control. So that might be the road to go in encouraging people to have fewer kids. As for those of us who are already here, I don't think you could justify a mass "culling" on any ethical level, even though, paradoxically, it might be beneficial in the long run to the species.

posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 12:57 AM

posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 01:38 AM
Pro: Maybe if they starve I wont get so many scammers calling my phone telling me that they are from Microsoft and are calling to tell me they can fix my computer which is supposedly sending out viruses; as long as I visit their website and download their program and install it

Con: People starve or struggle more than usual.
Con: Maybe the scammers will work overtime to increase their paycheck to pay for food and call me more often ;-(
edit on 17-8-2012 by DaRAGE because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 01:40 AM
The latest news on the Indian monsoon (rain season) is that it is 51% down on last years amount, cannot be good for the aquifers, also, even when India has bumper crops, lack of transport and storage means the harvest rots in sacks by the side of the road.(information from India TV, Gatestone institute.)

posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 02:39 PM
I forgot to add comment on my vid link -- the dude has won numerous awards for being the only reporter in India to really get all the details on how neoliberal structural adjustment has caused malnutrition to skyrocket in India even though GDP is going up.

He calls it McOnomics because there's a new use of a UN number for necessary caloric intake that assumes a sedentary lifestyle for the poorest people doing hard labor with hand tools -- farmers. So even the "minimum" caloric sedentary lifestyle.

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