Budget: Mega food parks to help in storage

February 28th, 2011 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) Expressing concern at over 40 percent of the food production in India going waste due to lack of storage facilities, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday proposed steps to establish 15 mega food parks and enhance storage capacities with cold chains. “An estimated 40 percent of the fruit and vegetable production in India goes waste due to lack of storage, cold chain and transport infrastructure. To address these issues, during 2011-12, approval is being given to set up 15 more Mega Food Parks,” said Mukherjee in his budget speech.

Despite growing production of vegetables and fruits, their availability is inadequate due to bottlenecks in retailing capacity.

The years 2008 to 2010 saw very high levels of foodgrains procurement. On Jan 1, 2011 the foodgrain stock in central pool reached 470 lakh tonnes, 2.7 times higher than 174 lakh tonnes on Jan 1, 2007.

“The storage capacity for such large quantities requires augmentation. Process to create new storage capacity of 150 lakh tonnes through private entrepreneurs and warehousing corporations has been fast tracked,” the finance minister said.

“Decision to create 20 lakh tonnes of storage capacity under public entrepreneurs guarantee scheme through modern silos has been taken.”

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