The government will introduce the ‘world’s largest foodgrain storage scheme’ with warehouses in every block in the country under cooperative societies for an allocation of approximately Rs 1 lakh crore, minister Anurag Thakur told reporters after aCabinet briefing on Wednesday.
The scheme will utilise funds already allocated for other schemes, Thakur said. Under this scheme, a godown of a capacity of 2000 tonnes will be constructed in every block, or district subdivision. An inter-ministerial committee will be formed for this. The initiative will help reduce damage of foodgrains due to a lack of storage, check distress sales by farmers, reduce import dependence, and create employment opportunities in rural India, the minister said.
It will boost food security in the country apart from helping farmers realise better prices for their goods and reducing transportation cost, he said.
Besides storing their produce in the facilities, farmers will also be able to get up to 70% loans from these cooperative societies. The programme will be launched as a pilot in 10 districts, and then taken to rest of country. It aims to raise India’s foodgrain storage capacity by 70 million tonnes in the cooperative sector. Currently, grain storage capacity in the country is about 145 million tonnes. In the next five years, this will expand to 215 million tonnes, Thakur said.Creation and operation of infrastructure for storage of grains, such as godowns, will be undertaken by primary agricultural credit societies and block federations.
This article has been republished from The Economic Times