Friday, October 14, 2011: 03:48:48 PM

Food Processing Poll Feature

High food inflation changing food habits

The skyrocketing food inflation rates are a cause of worry for consumers as well as the government

With the food inflation rates touching the 9% mark for the third straight week, consumers are visibly concerned about the situation at hand. As per data released by the Ministry of Commerce, vegetables became costlier by 14.88% year-on-year during last week, while potatoes and onions grew more expensive by 9.34% and 10.58%, respectively.

A recent poll conducted by FoodProcessing360 showed that 100% respondents think that the high food inflation has impacted food habits in India.
Income-expenditure disparity
The pressure of increasing prices has made the common consumer dig deep into their pockets. In order to keep reins over the tidings, they are being forced to change their habits and shop for cost-worthy food items. Krishna Chatterjee, a homemaker and a regular customer of Spencer super market, says, “I am being forced to cut down on provisions in order to remain within my budget. The overall income of the family remains the same whereas the prices of food commodities are attaining newer heights.”
According to Dr VH Potty, food technologist and chairman of Diversified Food Technologies (India), Mysore, India, “In our country food inflation now ranging between 9-10% is driven by the high prices for fruits and vegetables and such a situation is happening because of the skewed production and market policies of the government which allow "middle men" and pre-harvest contractors a free hand in dictating the consumer price."
Concerns for the government
Amidst increasing pressure from all quarters, the government tried to put up a brave face. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters that the government faces a problem, and said that he is worried by the food inflation. He added that the high level of food inflation is not acceptable.  
Therefore, food consumption of the country will continue to be affected till the food inflation rates do not tame down. 
Sambuddha Sengupta

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