FCI asked to create 15 MT additional storage capacity

September 16th, 2011 - 9:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) Concerned over lack of adequate storage facilities, the government has asked the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to fast-track creation of additional 15 million tonnes storage capacity in the 12th Five Year Plan period (2012-13 to 2016-17), an official said Friday.

The direction was given by the prime minister’s office keeping in mind the expected bumper crop of over 245 million tonnes in 2011-12 and the proposed food security act.

The focus on storage capacity was the outcome of a meeting chaired by Principal Secretary to Prime Minister T.K.A. Nair with the top officials of food and agriculture ministries Sep 13.

“The FCI has been asked to fast-track the creation of additional 15 million tonnes storage capacity in the 12th Five Year Plan,” said a senior official adding the FCI has been asked to develop additional four MT storage capacity by March 2012.

The Supreme Court has been pulling up the government to arrange adequate storage space so that no foodgrains are wasted.

In the lack of sufficient covered storage, most of the grains have to be stored under open skies and are only covered with tarpaulin sheets. This grain gets exposed to rains and gets spoiled.

The Supreme Court too has asked the government to create proper storage capacity.

The FCI has an annual storage capacity of 60 MT against 80 MT foodgrain production last year. This leaves a clear gap of 20 MT capacity forcing storage of food grains in the open, said officials.

Officials said the food and public distribution ministry has taken initiatives to create additional food grain storage capacity of 15 MT capacity in 19 states through private entrepreneurs and central and state warehousing corporations.

Steps have also been taken for construction of warehouses in northeastern region with a cost of Rs.568.17 crore to stock foodgrains and for their speedy movement from procuring states to distribution centres, said officials.

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