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Food Security: India Plans World’s Largest Grain Storage Scheme

An additional step toward achieving food security would be for India to soon have the largest grain storage system in the world.

Shivam Dwivedi
Concerns about food security have grown in several countries as a result of the disruptions in the food supply and the high prices.
Concerns about food security have grown in several countries as a result of the disruptions in the food supply and the high prices.

In the aftermath of the Ukraine war and the Covid-19 pandemic, the Centre is combining several schemes to create the "world's largest grain storage" scheme. According to a Mint report, schemes under ministries such as agriculture and farmers welfare, consumer affairs, food and public distribution, and food processing will soon be merged.

Food supply disruptions and high prices have raised food security concerns in several countries. Ukraine and Russia are major suppliers of wheat, barley, and fertilizer. Despite having a lot of arable lands, India has low productivity.

"In terms of stored grains and storage capacity, we have lagged behind. So the government is now attempting to ramp up. The most important aspect of the storage plan will be determining whether it will be modern storage or the old system, in which each man carries a sack and builds a storage pyramid. A mechanized system is much more transparent and modern. We don't even have 2 million tonnes of silo storage. The storage plan has been in the works for a long time, and the government is only now attempting to put it into action," as per Ashok Gulati, agricultural economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices.

The Food Corporation of India's (FCI) cereal stocks in India fell to a five-year low in 2022. In 2022, storage capacity increased from 75 million tonnes (mt) to 85 mt. The government also extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, a free foodgrains programme, until December 31. It has a total expenditure of Rs 3.9 trillion.

It is a good idea to combine the schemes under which the government of India provides a grant for the construction of storage capacity through traditional warehouses, silos, and cold storage. It should be noted. However, that state governments contribute to the majority of centrally sponsored schemes to 40%.

"The true benefit of such storage will come only if warehouses are required to register with the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority," former agriculture secretary Siraj Hussain told Mint. Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated at the recent G20 summit in Bali that the current fertilizer shortage could jeopardize food security.

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