The crate rule is coming round to the next installment and it seems the government is trying to placate the farmers by giving them veiled subsidies, fooling them with free plastic crates to farmer organizations, which I have already noted as being a very bad precedent, and absolutely counter-productive. They are aiming their fire power on the transport mafia, and in that war they can never win. This mafia has already extracted unprecedented exceptions by excluding a whole host of fruit and vegetables from the rule! In the end they are going to screw the consumer, putting it down to the government’s lack of flexibility. When will this government understand that whatever they do ostensibly to help the consumer, is only going to increase the consumer’s cost of the weekly food basket, not lessen it, as the Minister dreams, when he fantasizes about his expected gain in popularity.
A band of swashbuckling pirates in the guise of Ministers of the Rajapakse realm, is holding the hapless people hostage to rules, regulations, and route permits, when they must provide the infrastructure to lessen the wastage. This lack of understanding that the process of transport and storage is intermingled means they must look to examples internationally how other countries overcome this problem.
In the end it all boils down to education, both about the quality of the food that is grown, along with the safe methods of growing and then making the consumers aware of the difference between healthily edible against outwardly attractive, which will then change our consumption patterns to eating nutritious food. We can then address the cost effective means of achieving both goals of post harvest loss, as well as quality, wholesome food, to be cooked and consumed in a way to both prevent sudden bouts of food poisoning due to improper storage and the long term bouts of non communicable diseases arising from unhealthy eating, which is the gravest public health issue of the day. This is the need of the hour.
The lack of a proper perspective in food policy as it concerns both quality and minimizing wastage at all stages is what causes this type of hap hazard policy shift that rankles all concerned. This in my opinion is just glossing over lightly, by apportioning blame on a vital cog such as the transport sector when responsibility lies with all stake holders. This lack of vision on the part of the government as indicated in this blog time and time again in the past is what holds back any progressive thinking in this area. Let us all junk these Ministries making a hash of food production and food consumption and open the management of this to the private sector to show by way of such practices that the market forces can do a darn sight better than the state sector in this intricate process.