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Food grain storage capacity needs to be enhanced in the country
A recent combined study by industry body Assocham and Yes Bank points out that currently 70 per cent of the total warehousing capacity of 112 million tones is owned by the government. Additional 35 million tones of storage capacity is required in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012- 17) period.
Their study report further points out that around 30-40 percent food grain is stored in an unprofessional manner during the peak marketing season in India. According to one spokesperson of Assocham, around 20-30 per cent of total food grain harvest is wasted. Each grain bag was handled at least six times before it was finally opened for processing.

The report clearly spells out that there is a death of food grain storage capacity of about 35 million tones and there is an urgent need to augment modern and scientific storage facilities to keep pace with the marketable surplus.

Basing the above, Government must accord priority to enhancing the storage of food grain warehouses in the country.

A couple of solutions to the above issue could be as follows:

  • There are some numbers of small scale industries and large scale industries scattered in different parts of the country which have got huge spaces but are not using them to the optimum capacity due to some obvious reasons. Such spaces could be leased out to Government agencies after creating nice doable infrastructure kind of facilities for storing bulk quantities of food grains and other food crops. Government agencies may wish to agree to pay a decent rental for using such facilities.

  • It is often reported that Railways are having a good chunk of land with them which are not utilized to the optimum. Railways can be encouraged to come out with innovative modern way of storing food grains on their surplus lands which can be leased out to Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other similar agencies for storage of bulk quantities of food grains. This will result in additional revenue for the Railways and also solve the issue of FCI to a great extent.

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