Q. India’s push for a successful biofuel program might have negative implications on which of the following?
1. Water resources
2. Crop diversification
3. Food prices
Select the correct answer from the codes given below:
- More stress on water– Increasing reliance on biofuels can push farmers to grow more water-intensive crops like sugarcane and rice, which currently use 70% of the available irrigation water.
- Impact on hunger situation in India: Experts have further raised concerns that the move could impact India’s hunger situation by limiting the coverage of the food security schemes.
- Negative impact on crop diversification: Although the biofuels policy stresses on using less water-consuming crops, farmers prefer to grow more sugarcane and rice due to price support schemes.
- Diversion of sugar could be used as a temporary measure to reduce excess stocks of sugar, but in the long run, it would push farmers away from crop diversification strategy of growing more pulses and oilseeds which are less water-intensive.
- Ethical concerns: As per some experts, it is unethical to use edible grains to produce ethanol in a country where hunger is severe. India, with 14% of its population undernourished and more than a third of its children stunted, ranks 94th out of 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2020.
- Rise in food prices: Diversion of mass consumption grains can push food prices up and can worsen our hunger problem.