Silos, a new concept warehouses are famous nowadays for their scientific method of storing grains which preserve them for longer time. Storing food grains is gaining attraction in India as Asia’s third largest economy is getting thrashed due to mass destruction of its food grains in open warehouses. Silo storage is an idea introduced in India a decade ago which is now gaining momentum and an added advantage to stakeholders in agriculture and storage of food grains. 

Adani Agro logistics is one of the earliest to adopt Silo storage. Currently it is the only Silo storage operator in the country with a capacity of 8.7 lakh tonnes and another 4 lakh tonnes silos being built. Apart from Adani LT Foods, National collateral Management, Sri Kartikeyan Industries, & Total shipping and logistics  ltd. 

Grain storage in silos is vertical, while the storage of grain in warehouses is horizontal.   Using steel silos to store the grain instead of using warehouses provides many advantages: 

  • The first advantage lies in the occupied ground surface.  This method requires less ground space, which is important if space is not available or if its cost is high like at ports.
  • Another advantage lies in how easy it is to keep the optimum storage conditions for the grain, by controlling the temperature, insects, mould, birds, which in long term storage facilities could result in an important economic loss.
  • The third advantage consists of lower costs than that incurred from using warehouses, which entails the automation of the grain transport equipment. The loading as well as the unloading can be completely automated using a SCADA system and at a lower cost.
  • Another advantage is lower assembling costs, since this element is designed specifically for this purpose and weighs less than a storage facility.
  • Finally, we have the fact that it is less expensive overall, and this is probably the main advantage in comparison to grain warehouses.

There are two types of silos - one with rail connectivity and the other is standalone type. One with rail connectivity is much cheaper. A typical standalone silo of 50,000 tonne capacity cost about 6000 a tonne or about Rs 30 crore to built from scratch while a silo with rail connectivity including land comes close to Rs 55-60 crore per unit of 50,000 tonnes.

India stores 65 mt of food grains most of which is conventional, open or covered godowns. More than 10 mt of food grains are stored in open warehouses and are prone to damage and vagaries of weather. India being the third largest economy has never been short of food production. With the help of Silo storage mass depletion of food grains that get spoiled in warehouses can be controlled and pave the way to malnutrition problem in the country. 



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