Pax: Cabinet approves Rs 1 lakh crore mega scheme to create grain storage capacity in cooperative sector – Times of India

New Delhi: The Almirah India on Wednesday approved a Rs 1 lakh crore plan to create the world’s largest grain storage capacity in India in the cooperative sector through convergence of various existing schemes of the ministries of agriculture, food and public distribution and food processing industries. The scheme will be implemented by utilizing the outlay provided under some of the identified schemes of all these ministries.
The move will help reduce crop damage and prevent distress selling by farmers, apart from strengthening the country’s food security and creating job opportunities in rural India.
Under the plan, facilitated by an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), the government will create 700 lakh tonnes of grain storage capacity in the cooperative sector over the next five years. The cabinet also approved setting up of IMC.
Calling it a “visionary decision” that will lay the foundation for a prosperous, self-reliant and food-rich India, the Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah Said that lack of agricultural storage capacity leads to wastage of food grains and farmers are forced to sell their crops at low prices. With this decision, farmers will now get the facility of modern grain storage in their blocks through primary agricultural credit societies.pacs), so that they can get a fair price for their food grains, he said.
Addressing the media on the cabinet’s decision, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said the program would start “with an outlay of about Rs 1 lakh crore”. He said that a godown of 2,000 tonnes capacity would be set up in each block.
The minister said the country’s food grain production is currently around 3,100 lakh tonnes, while the storage capacity is around 47% (1,450 lakh tonnes) of the total production. He said that adding 700 lakh tonnes of storage capacity would take the total capacity to 2,150 lakh tonnes.
The multi-pronged plans aim to address the lack of agricultural storage infrastructure in the country by not only facilitating the setting up of warehouses at the level of selected viable PACS, but also by enabling PACS to function as procurement centers for state agencies in various ways. To be able to do other activities. / Food Corporation of India (FCI), serving as fair price shops (fps) and setting up Custom Hiring Centers and Common Processing Units.
Creation and modernization of infrastructure at PACS level will reduce wastage of food grains by creating adequate storage capacity, strengthen food security of the country and enable farmers to get better prices for their crops. Will be able ministry of cooperation on cabinet decision
The IMC will be constituted under the chairmanship of Shah with ministers from agriculture, food and public distribution and food processing industries and secretaries as members.
To ensure time-bound and uniform implementation of the scheme in a professional manner, the Ministry of Cooperation will first implement a pilot project in at least 10 selected districts of different States/UTs. “The pilot will provide valuable insight into the varied regional requirements of the project, from which the learnings will be suitably incorporated for the nationwide implementation of the scheme,” the ministry said.
Though there are over 1,00,000 PACS in the country with a huge member base of over 13 crore farmers, only 63,000 of them are functional. Setting up of decentralized storage capacity along with other agriculture infrastructure at the level of PACS is expected to enable these Primary Credit Societies to transform themselves into vibrant economic entities.
Once the grain storage capacity is increased as per the plan, farmers will be able to sell their crops to PACS by receiving some advance payment at the minimum support price (MSP), and receive the remaining amount after PACS sells the food grains in the market.
Alternatively, farmers can store their crops in warehouses managed by PACS and get finance for the next crop cycle and sell their crops at a time of their choice, or they can sell their entire crop to PACS at MSP. Can
Explaining the benefits of the scheme, Shah said that PACS is an important pillar of the rural economy and this scheme will provide food security to the country and crores of cooperative farmers will be benefitted.