India approves world's largest food storage scheme in co-operative sector at the cost of Rs 1 lakh crore

India approves world's largest food storage scheme in co-operative sector at the cost of Rs 1 lakh crore
The government will bring a policy for world's biggest food grain storage scheme under the cooperative societies sector, minister Anurag Thakur told media following a Cabinet briefing. Thakur termed the proposed scheme as the "world's largest foodgrain storage programme" in the cooperative sector.
The government will make an allocation of approximately Rs 1 lakh crore towards it, it was announced. Under this scheme, a godown of a capacity of 2000 tonnes will be constructed in every block. An inter-ministerial committee will be formed for this. This is part of a plan to expland foodgrain storage facilities in the country, the minister said. This will boost the cooperative sector, he added.
The programme aims to raise India's foodgrain storage capacity by 700 lakh tonne in the cooperative sector. Currently, the grain storage capacity in the country is about 1,450 lakh tonne. In the next five years, the storage will expand to 2,150 lakh tonne. The storage capacity will be increased in the cooperative sector, the minister announced.
Thakur said the move is aimed to reduce the damage of food grains due to a lack of storage, help in checking distress sales by farmers, reduce import dependence and create employment opportunities in rural India. This will boost food security in India, apart from helping farmers realise better prices for their goods. Earlier, farmers at times had to sell their wares in a hurried manner owing to climate-related vagaries, the minister said.
India has 65,000 agricultural cooperative societies. The new move will be a win-win for both agricultural societies and farmers as well as consumers, the minister said. The farmers, apart from storing their produce in the facilities, will also be able to get up to 70% loans from these societies.
This will lead to significant savings in transportation costs, he observed. India produces about 3,100 lakh tonne of foodgrains a year. The country's current godown facilities can store only up to 47 per cent of the produce. A decision was also taken to start City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain - CITIIS 2.0 program at the same briefing.