While over a billion people the world over sleep hungry most nights, and children grow up stunted because of malnourishment, it is a glaring absurdity that while enough food grows in India to feed all, a lot of it is wasted due to lack of proper administration and storage.
Perishable food becomes wasted because there isn't adequate preservation and packing and refrigeration, or else the food is stored in godowns in India and it almost becomes forgotten while the price on the market goes up, so who can be bothered to cart out more when you're getting the same money for less, adding to inflation, given as the primary cause why the government cannot lower the RBI repo rate.
Obviously added power supply would help so refrigerated storages can be built, as well as canning factories to preserve the delicious fruit and veg. If foreign direct investment is not too welcome at this stage, then maybe the Indian merchants can put up the capital to build what is needed. Either way, with FDI or increased capital investment by the local communities, the potential is huge for improvements.
The distribution network needs to be added to, with more hardened roads that hopefully can see refrigerated trucks carrying yummy desserts and delicacies to different parts of town, to modern supermarkets that have the necessary storage facilities. Those of course should be built.
If the Reserve Bank actually cuts the repo rate (I am suggesting a bold 125-150 basis points this month to stave off disaster in the weakening economic picture) it could help utilise the natural wealth that India is blessed with and feed the people and raise their standards of living, which would naturally register on an increased GDP. When a nation has such an abundance of gifts, is it asking anything to use the silver bullet for the economy?
If we learn the lesson from the global slowdown in 2008, and apply the solutions today, then we can avoid such a scenario tomorrow. Wherever the interest rates are unsustainably high and are affecting growth, there they have to lower them, in consultation where necessary with the IMF and the World Bank. Elected politicians and bankers should try to find happiness in growth, and thereby in the happiness of the people they serve. For that, I pray.