One third of fruits and vegetables produced in India rots because we do not have proper cold storage facilities. Lack of suitable storage facilities lead food prices to rise. If India does not have proper cold storage for its produce then it must sell these to other countries to improve its export. But this is also not happening. So we are facing double trouble in which most of the children do not get sufficient food to eat. According to the Global Hunger Index of 2011 21% of the population in India is malnourished. 60 million children have lower weight than recommended. Low food consumption not only leads to the problem of malnutrition but also affects the economy of the country as a malnourished person cannot work with efficiency. It also leads to an increase in the individual healthcare cost. Apart from this India also faces the problem of food security which means challenges in the ongoing availability of food.
Most of the challenges in this sector are related to poor infrastructure as India does not have well-organized and competent road and railway system. India must work on it and build a great port connectivity via roads. Complex procedures of the government and matter related to taxation refrains many foreign investors to invest in India. This is a huge loss to the country.
Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize winner had earlier showed that famine (if we apply this to food scarcity)is not completely because of shortage but it is because of many economic factors including low wages, lack of jobs, and poor food distribution system. Many experts believe that problem of food shortage is not the result of less food but problems in supply chain cause this. This inefficiency in supply chain is also causing price rise and quality.
Supply chain in India is fragmented and involves numerous intermediaries such as distributors and resellers who earn the maximum benefit.
Inter-state supply chain suffers from many taxes. Our tax system is also very difficult and involves central and state taxes. Government must work on this to smoothen the process.
For smooth functioning supply chain needs professional people but we do not have trained work force in this field. So training and education in supply chain management is needed.
India has very good examples of successful supply chain which should be picked up for learning and implementing new techniques for efficiency. One such example of an efficient supply chain is that of Dabbawalas in Mumbai. Each day the company picks up, delivers and brings back close to 200k lunch boxes. The chances of error are one in 6 million. To deliver tiffins, local train, bicycle and people who are well versed with local areas are picked up.
Supply chain related to fruits and vegetables in India must be worked upon to increase the efficiency. It must be designed as per the needs and the availability of the India so that each one can be fed with quality food.