Union Food Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday stressed on creation of modern storage facilities at grass root and block levels for essential commodities as these have the potential to increase farmers’ income. Goyal, who is also Railways and Commerce minister, reviewed the storage plan for essential commodities in the country, an official statement said.
The minister said that the “nation needs a single, technologically modern storage management infrastructure.” He also emphasised on convergence and aggregation of all storage infrastructure in the country. Goyal said, “Whole of the Government approach” is needed rather stand-alone departmental storage plans. For this, he said, land aggregation for storage from States and government Undertakings should be explored. Goyal advised for greater synergy between the effective utilisation of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund and creation of modern storage infrastructure. The minister said that environment should be created for boosting public private partnerships and investment in this sector.
Goyal said master plan for land and storage should be prepared so that optimisation of space and use may be achieved. “Modern, cost efficient storage infrastructure at grass roots level and at block level is great way to increase farmers income,” Goyal said. In India, warehouses are spread over different undertakings and authorities at 20,433 locations, the statement said.
He informed that EOI has been called for development of cold chain facility for perishable commodities, including onions through Private Entity. It may be noted that CWC/SWCs are having presence at about 2668 locations, in Tier-I to Tier-V cities. These are most suitable for development of warehouses, in consumption as well as production area, being in prime area and outskirt of the cities. Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Rao Saheb Patil Danve was present in the meeting along with senior officials from departments of food, agriculture, consumer affairs and food processing.