An overwhelming majority of the undernourished people, about 907 million, live in developing countries. And about 65 per cent of these live in seven countries — India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Congo, according to the preliminary estimates on hunger released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Number of hungry people swells by 40 million
by Surinder Sud, The Business Standard, 09 February, 2009
The Central government\'s decision last week to hike the minimum support price for wheat by Rs.80 a quintal and the prices of various pulses by between Rs.130 and Rs.170 can be faulted on at least two grounds. The announcement has come three months too late. The MSP not only sets the floor price in the post-harvest period but can give valuable information to the farmer before the start of sowing. The farmer can decide whether or not to grow a particular crop depending on the return he can expect. However, this time the government has claimed that the delayed announcement of the MSP has not stood in the way of an increased acreage for wheat cultivation in the Rabi season. The second point of criticism has to do with the quantum of increase in the MSP. On the face of it, the hikes of 8 per cent in the case of wheat -from Rs.1,000 to Rs.1,080 - and of 10-12 per cent for pulses do not appear to be unreasonable especially because until recently inflation was running high. The government has resisted the temptation in an election year to hike the MSPs beyond those recommended by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices. In fact, the price increase for wheat this time is low in comparison with the rise of Rs.150 a quintal (including bonus) effected in the past two years.
Managing food abundance
by , The Hindu, 10 February, 2009