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Current Affairs

Punjab granaries overflowing

Date: 26 November 2020 Tags: Agriculture

Issue

Punjab’s granaries are overflowing with food grains. This is a common problem over the years but has intensified this time.

 

Background

The suspension of trains due to farmer’s protest has resulted in grains getting stuck in warehouses. The trade has also been subdued.

 

Details

  • The state still has 110 lakh metric tonnes of wheat and 55 lakh metric tonnes of paddy procured from previous seasons which is yet to be dispatched.

  • Rice is not hardy as wheat and needs special storage in closed spaces. With record procurement happening this season, the government is unable to provide storing space for the grains.

  • Ever since other states such as Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan started contributing to state pool of food grains, the outward movement of food grains from Punjab has been affected.

  • Had the trains been still running, the evacuation would have been at least five times of the current rate.

 

Post harvest losses

  • Post-harvest losses occur between harvest and the moment of human consumption. They include on-farm losses, such as when grain is threshed, winnowed, and dried, as well as losses along the chain during transportation, storage, and processing. 

  • A late harvest, for example, can bring about losses from attacks by birds and other pests.

  • Insufficient drying of grain can cause losses from the development of moulds and insects.

  • Threshing can cause losses from broken grains and encourage the development of insects.

  • Poor storage conditions can bring about losses caused by the combined action of moulds, insects, rodents and other pests.

  • Transport conditions or defective packaging of grain can lead to quantitative losses of product.

 

Effects of post harvest losses

  • Losses in weight

A reduction of the physical substance of the product is evidenced by a loss in weight.

  • Losses in quality

Criteria of quality vary widely and involve the exterior aspect, shape and size, as much as the smell and taste.

  • Economic losses

A reduction in the quantities or qualities of grain means a corresponding commercial loss that is evidenced as a loss of money.