Food Storage infrastructure in India

Food Storage infrastructure in India

Context: The topic was discussed in latest Kurukshetra magazine.

What is Food storage infrastructure system?
• Food storage infrastructure systems play a crucial role in ensuring food security, minimizing wastage, and supporting efficient distribution.

Types of Food storage systems in India
• Godowns, procurement centers, Fair price shops, Custom hiring centres, processing units.
• Cold chain infrastructure
• Warehouses
• Kanaja, Kothi, Sanduka, earthern pots, Gummi and Kacheri are different types of traditional storage infrastructure in India. 60-70% of grains are stored on the farm in these traditional structures.

What is the importance of Food Storage Infrastructure System?

Food Security
• By maintaining a continuous supply of food grains, storage systems contribute to food security. Even for perishable and semi-perishable products, having storage facilities ensures that food is available when needed.

Reducing Post-Harvest Losses
• One of the key objectives of storage infrastructure is to minimize post-harvest losses.
• Proper storage protects crops from pests, inclement weather, and spoilage, thereby preserving their quality and quantity.

Continuous Flow of Goods
• Storage infrastructure ensures a steady supply of goods in the market, even for perishable products.
• It allows for consistent availability of food grains, fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural produce.

Price Stabilization
• Storage infrastructure helps stabilize prices in the market.
• By adjusting the demand and supply of commodities, it prevents extreme fluctuations in prices.

Processing and packaging
• Storage facilities are used not only for storing but also for processing and packaging food products.
• Properly packaged goods can be transported safely and reach consumers in good condition.Economic support to farmers, employment generation and supporting agricultural trade

What are the government of India initiatives?

World’s largest Grain storage plan in cooperative sector
• To create decentralized storage capacity at the Primary         Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) level.
• Components – Godowns, Custom hiring centres, Processing units, Fair price shops
• Funding - The plan leverages existing schemes such as
o Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF)
o Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure Scheme (AMI)
o Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)
o Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM)
o Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME)
o Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY)

Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure
• Objective: To create facilities along the entire supply chain for preserving perishable produce.
• Components: Pre-cooling, sorting, grading, cold storage, packing, and transportation.
• Coverage: Includes horticulture, fish, dairy, meat, and poultry sectors

Public and Private Cold Storage Facilities
• Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) operate major government-owned warehouses.

Enhancing PACS Infrastructure
• By elevating PACS into multifunctional entities, India aims to:
• Reduce food grain wastage by creating sufficient storage capacity.
• Strengthen food security.
• Prevent distress sale of crops. Enable farmers to realize better prices for their produce

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