World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector

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World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector

World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector

Last year, the Government sanctioned the implementation of the “World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector” as a pioneering initiative. This ambitious plan involves the establishment of diverse agricultural infrastructure at the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Society (PACS) level. These include warehouses, custom hiring centers, processing units, Fair Price Shops, and more. It integrates several existing schemes of the Government of India (GoI) such as the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure Scheme (AMI), Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM), Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME), among others.

The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) is spearheading the pilot project, with support from NABARD, Food Corporation of India (FCI), Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS), National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), and others across various States/Union Territories.

State/UT governments and National level Cooperative Federations like the National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) have earmarked 1,711 PACS for the expansion of storage capacity under this project. Currently, construction is underway in 13 PACS across 13 States/UTs as part of the pilot project.

Furthermore, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been inked between the Ministry of Cooperation, Department of Food and Public Distribution, FCI, and NCDC to ensure optimal utilization of the storage facilities at the PACS level. This collaboration aims to facilitate the rental of godowns constructed at PACS by FCI and their seamless integration into the food grain supply chain, providing crucial logistical support to PACS.

The decentralization of storage capacity at the PACS level offers numerous benefits to farmers:

  1. Farmers can store their produce in PACS godowns, avail bridge finance for the next crop cycle, and sell their produce at their convenience or directly to PACS at Minimum Support Price (MSP), thus averting distress sales.
  2. Access to agricultural inputs and services at the Panchayat/village level.
  3. Diversification of income sources through business expansion opportunities.
  4. Integration with the food supply management chain to expand market reach and obtain better prices for produce.
  5. Reduction of post-harvest losses through adequate storage, enabling farmers to fetch better prices.

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