Union Cabinet Approves Rs 1 Lakh Crore Project To Set Up Largest Grain Storage Capacity Worldwide


New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a programme worth Rs 1 lakh crore aimed at establishing the largest grain storage capacity in the cooperative sector worldwide.

The initiative aims to curb crop damages, prevent distress sales by farmers, and bolster the country’s food security. During a media briefing, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur declared that the Cabinet has granted its approval for the “world’s largest grain storage plan in the cooperative sector.” The program will commence with an initial expenditure of approximately Rs 1 lakh crore.

Under the proposed plan, a storage facility with a capacity of 2,000 tonnes will be established in each block, contributing to the strengthening of the cooperative sector. This move will allow Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) to venture into food grain storage. Currently, there are around 1 lakh PACS in the country, of which approximately 63,000 are operational.

Union Minister highlighted that while the country’s food grain production stands at around 3,100 lakh tonnes, the existing storage capacity only accounts for 47 per cent of the total output. In contrast, developed economies maintain storage capacities that exceed their output levels.

Funding Source And Capacity Expansion
Regarding the funding source, Anurag Thakur explained that the available funds from the ministries of agriculture, food processing, and food and consumer affairs will be utilized.

Currently, the total grain storage capacity in India is about 1,450 lakh tonnes. With the establishment of an additional 700 lakh tonnes of storage capacity in the cooperative sector, the overall capacity will reach 2,150 lakh tonnes.

Reducing Food Grain Wastage and Transportation Costs

One of the key advantages of this initiative, according to the minister, is the creation of decentralized storage facilities at the local level, which will reduce food grain wastage and enhance the country’s food security. This will significantly reduce transportation costs incurred in the movement of food grains to procurement centres and subsequent transportation from warehouses to ration shops.

Inter-Ministerial Committee Formed For Facilitation
In an official statement in PIB, the Cabinet outlined the approval for the establishment and empowerment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) to facilitate the implementation of the “world’s largest grain storage plan in the Cooperative Sector.”

The IMC will work towards the convergence of various schemes from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

To ensure timely and uniform implementation of the plan, the Ministry of Cooperation will initiate a pilot project in at least 10 selected districts across different states and union territories. The insights gained from this pilot project will inform the nationwide implementation of the plan, taking into account regional requirements.

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