Revolutionizing Awareness

helping humanity, make choices, more so through awareness, than ignorance

Posts Tagged ‘wheat’

China’s wheat crop at risk, world wary

Posted by Admin on February 14, 2011

Wheat Field [E-X-P-L-O-R-E-D]

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/Chinas-wheat-crop-at-risk-world-wary/articleshow/7490455.cms

Subodh Varma, TNN, Feb 14, 2011, 12.34am IST

NEW DELHI: There is bad news on the global food front. In an alert issued this week, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned that more than two-thirds of China‘s gigantic wheat crop may be under risk “because of substantially below-normal rainfall” this winter.

The affected areas in the northern plains of China produced over 75 million tonne of China’s total production of 112 million tonne of wheat last year. Any shortfall in Chinese production would have serial effects on availability and prices of wheat around the world.

Global food prices have been silently climbing upward through the past six months and with production and consumption very finely balanced, any disruption in production may wreak havoc with prices. Already, food prices are touching the record levels set in 2008 although prices of rice—the world’s largest staple food— are still below those levels.

High food prices have been feeding growing restlessness and anger in a swathe of countries including West Asia. Egypt had experienced an 18.5% rate of inflation driving up prices of all food commodities except bread which is subsidized by the government to the tune of $1.5 billion annually. This was a major contributory factor to the 18-day uprising that dislodged the three-decade-long dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. Protests against high food prices have taken place in Oman, Israel and Jordan and have contributed to political unrest in Yemen, Tunisia and Algeria.

Wheat flour prices were 16% higher than a year ago in China driven by fears of drought. The Chinese government has announced a $1.96-billion package to fight drought, including attempts to create artificial rain by cloud seeding.

Apart from staples, sugar prices are running at 30-year highs. Weather-related disruption in Australia, Brazil and China has caused international refined sugar prices to reach 35.6 cents per pound. The average price for sugar in 2010 was 27.78 cents per pound. The last time sugar prices reached these sky-high levels was in 1980.

Meanwhile, the World Sugar Committee, representing leading traders, wrote to the ICE futures commodity exchange blaming parasitic speculators for the high prices of sugar.

Nervous governments across the world are trying to stem the tide in different ways. Several countries in West Asia are stocking up on foodgrain. Iraq, where agricultural production has declined considerably, has placed orders for 300,000 tonne of wheat from the US, with options for another 100,000 tonne. Jordan and Lebanon submitted tenders for 100,000 tonne and 22,500 tonne respectively. Algeria, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia too placed large orders recently. Others, like Russia, have banned exports. Vietnam has devalued its currency, the dong, by 9% to curb inflation.

All these point to an impending crisis in food availability and prices that could lead to further turmoil globally.

Advertisements

Posted in Press Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on China’s wheat crop at risk, world wary

Grains worth millions rot at Udaipur railway station

Posted by Admin on July 9, 2010

Thu, Jul 8 03:55 PM

Udaipur, July 8 (ANI): In a case of gross administrative negligence, grain stock worth millions of rupees has been left to rot at the Rana Pratap Railway Station in Rajasthan’s Udaipur city.

Containing thousands of kilograms of wheat and peas, hundreds of gunnysacks had arrived at the station from Punjab and Haryana. They were to be supplied under the public distribution system to the below poverty line (BPL) households in the region.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) had sent nearly 100,000 gunnysacks carrying wheat meant for consumption by poor, while the National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) for India had transported many tonnes of yellow peas for the same purpose.

Due to lack of proper storage facilities, the grain was left in open and the monsoon speeded up their decay.

Noticing such negligence, furious local residents confronted NCCF official Jitendra Dubey, who had arrived at the platform to inspect the consignment.

“These grains are meant for the poorest of the poor, the below poverty line (BPL) households that live on these grains. Millions of poor people are waiting for the grain stocks, which are rotting here. The situation is deplorable since no one, from the contractor to the railway officials and food corporation authorities of India are concerned about this,” said Jitendra Shastri, President of the Udaipur Youth Forum.

When asked the reason for the authorities failing to preserve the food stock, Dubey refused to comment.

Emitting a repugnant odour, the grains have still not been carted out of the railway station, and rodents and insects have now infested the stock. A white layer of fungi has also been observed forming on many of the gunnysacks.

“The food stock is lying rotten on the ground. A white fungus like layer has formed upon the gunnysacks and due to the rains, they have been rendered useless and inedible. The stock is stinking. However, despite all this, there is no separation of grains being done by the contractors who are supplying this stock. It is unfortunate that these rotting grains will be transported to the cities and supplied to consumers,” said Ramesh, a local consumer.

The supply and consumption of such infected food grains could be dangerous to human health, he added.

Meanwhile, the authorities maintained that the grain has not been destroyed as yet, and that the transportation and supply was going on to the ‘best of their abilities.’

“The grain stock has not destroyed as yet. Thousands of gunny bags are currently lying on the railway platform, and the labourers have been working hard to transport them to godowns. They work from morning till evening. The stock arrived at the station just four days back, and yesterday there was a national shutdown. How much work can the labourers possible do?” said Himmat Singh Bhati, a Food Corporation of India official stated. (ANI)

Posted in India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Grains worth millions rot at Udaipur railway station