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PM Modi launches world’s largest grain storage


NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the world’s largest grain storage plan in the cooperative sector, entailing an investment of over Rs 1.25 lakh crore, with the inauguration of 11 godowns in primary agricultural credit societies (PACS) in as many States.
Under the programme, 700 lakh tonne of storage capacity will be created over the next 5 years in the cooperative sector by constructing thousands of godowns and warehouses, Modi said at an event here.
He also laid the foundation for creating godowns and other agri infrastructure in 500 more PACS.
“Today we have launched the world’s largest storage scheme for our farmers. Under this, thousands of warehouses and godowns will be constructed across the country”, he said after inaugurating 11 godowns set up by 11 PACS across 11 States.
He rued that farmers were forced to bear huge losses due to lack of storage infrastructure in the country.
“Previous Governments never paid due attention to this problem. But today through PACS, this problem is being addressed. Under the world’s largest food grain storage programme, 700 lakh tonne storage capacity will be created in the next 5 years. On this initiative more than Rs 1.25 lakh crore will be spent”, the Prime Minister said.
With the creation of the huge storage facilities, Modi said farmers would be able to store their produce in the godowns/warehouses, get institutional credit against it and sell their items when market prices are remunerative.
He also asked cooperative organisations to work towards reducing imports of food items, including edible oils and pulses and fertilizers.
Modi also emphasised on the importance of bringing transparency in the election system in cooperatives, saying this would encourage more participation of people in the cooperative movement.
The Prime Minister talked about various initiatives taken by the Government in the last 10 years for the growth of the cooperative sector as part of its vision of “Sahakar se Samridhi”, and specifically highlighted the creation of a specific Ministry for the cooperative sector.
Through a separate Ministry, efforts are being made to strengthen cooperatives in the country, he said.
Modi also said the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act has been amended and PACS are being computerised.
The Prime Minister also inaugurated a project for computerization of 18,000 PACS across the country.
Referring to farmer producer organisations (FPOs), Modi said small farmers are becoming entrepreneurs and even exporting their produce.
“We had set a target of establishing 10,000 FPOs. We have already set up 8,000 FPOs. Their success is being discussed at the global level now. Fishery and animal husbandry sectors are also benefiting from the cooperatives”, he said.
In the next 5 years, the target is to set up 2 lakh PACS and the maximum will be in the fishery and allied farm sectors.
The Prime Minister also called upon the cooperative sector to help reduce India’s import bill on food and fuel products.
To make India self-reliant, he suggested that cooperatives should make a list of items that India imports and plan an action to produce or manufacture them locally.
He said cooperative organisations can help reduce import of edible oils, fertilizers and crude oil.
“Our fuel import has to be reduced. In ethanol, we are working in a big way. Ethanol production has increased significantly”, Modi said.
Earlier, Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said the world’s largest grain storage scheme would help create capacities for storing 100% of India’s grain production.
The scheme aims to seamlessly integrate PACS godowns with the food grain supply chain, with a collaborative effort of NABARD and spearheaded by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
The initiative is being implemented through the convergence of various existing schemes like the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), Agriculture Marketing Infrastructure (AMI), etc., to enable PACS participating in the project avail subsidies and interest subvention benefits for undertaking infrastructure development.
Shah said the computerization of 30,000 more PACS would be completed soon before the forthcoming general elections.
This is part of the Government’s efforts to realise the vision of “Sahakar se Samridhi” for rejuvenating the cooperative sector and empowering small and marginal farmers.
The project for computerization of 65,000 PACS has been approved with a financial outlay of more than Rs 2,500 crore.
This initiative involves transitioning all functional PACS onto a unified Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) based national software, ensuring seamless integration and connectivity. (PTI)