Around 62000 metric tonnes of food grains damaged in Food Corporation of India warehouse in past six years.
The food grains in the warehouse of Food Corporation of India (FCI) in Vijinapura at K R Puram is infested by insects. The residents of the surrounding areas fret regarding the breeding of insects in the houses damaging the grains and eatables.
The pests are invading every portion of the residential area in a two-three kilometer radius from the warehouse.
Mr. Salvin, resident of that area said, “From past one month we have seen the breeding of insects in the ration stored in our house which is destroying the whole lot of grains leading to other issues.”
The FCI stated that pests find habitation in the bulk of grains stocked in the warehouses. The most common among these are moths and bruchid beetles.
Mr. Sudarshan, a local shopkeeper said, “These beetles have a tendency to grow once they start breeding in the stocks. The moment shutters of the storage are opened for ventilation; these pests find a way out and enter in the nearby houses and shops.”
As per the Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Consumer affairs, Food and Public Distribution, a total of 4,811 kilogram of grain is damaged yearly due to pests in the state.
Mr. K Subramanyam, another resident said, “We have filed a complaint about this problem to the area manager but still nothing has been done. Apart from the breeding, in the evening these insects get into our eatables destroying the food.”
The FCI guideline under Precautionary measures to prevent damage food grains in Covered and Plinth (CAP) godowns states that regular prophylactic, a curative measure, should be carried out to control pest breeding in stored grains in CAP storage.
Mr. Manoj Kumar, Depot Manager of FCI said, “Firstly there is a shortage of chemicals and preservatives for the fumigation (pest control)and secondly one of the stock that was transported from Andhra Pradesh got small beetles because of the sweet content present in it, we are cleaning it as soon as possible but rest all the sheds are good.”
The FCI guideline under the Safe Storage of Pulses states that all the stocks should have proper covers without holes or cuts. If any hole is found, the same must be repaired immediately or should be replaced. All the covers should be lashed properly with nylon ropes as per the instructions.
The Softcopy observed that the sacks were not properly covered with the black polythene water-proof covers and there were holes too in the covering of the sacks at the shed. Some of the open sacks were completely covered by the weevils and moths. Majorly the warehouse lacked the preventive control of pesticides.
Ms. Priyanshi P., head of volunteer group at Robin Hood Army, the NGO working for conservation of food said, “A country like India where people die of starvation, loads of food is being wasted in an organisation like FCI which has number of warehouses across the country. They must come up with pesticides control measures to determine insecticide problems and also the warehouse premises must be treated regularly.”