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India Embarks on World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan with 1st Meeting of NLCC

India's NLCC held its first meeting to advance the world's largest decentralized grain storage plan, reviewing pilot progress and strategizing for nationwide implementation.

KJ Staff
India Embarks on World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan with 1st Meeting of NLCC (Image Source: PIB)
India Embarks on World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan with 1st Meeting of NLCC (Image Source: PIB)

The National Level Coordination Committee (NLCC) for the world's largest grain storage plan convened its first meeting on Monday at the Ministry of Cooperation. This landmark gathering marks a significant step forward in India’s efforts to revolutionize its agricultural storage infrastructure.

The meeting was chaired by Dr. Ashish Kumar Bhutani, Secretary of the Ministry of Cooperation. It saw the participation of key figures from various government sectors, including the Secretary of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the Secretary of Food and Public Distribution, and the Secretary of Food Processing Industries. Representatives from the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), and the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) were also present.

The primary focus of the meeting was to review the progress of the pilot project initiated last year across 11 states. This pilot project is a precursor to a nationwide rollout and aims to establish agricultural infrastructure at the Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) level. The project includes the creation of warehouses, custom hiring centers, processing units, and Fair Price Shops.

Dr. Bhutani emphasized the project's ambition, highlighting the government's commitment to decentralizing storage solutions. "This project is one of the most ambitious undertakings by the Government of India, aiming to create warehouses at a decentralized level," he stated.

The implementation of the pilot project is being overseen by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) with substantial support from NABARD, FCI, the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), and NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS). The collaboration extends to state governments and other stakeholders, ensuring a coordinated effort. The pilot project is now being expanded to an additional 500 PACS with the involvement of state governments, the National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF), and the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC).

Convergence of Government Schemes

A crucial aspect of the grain storage plan is the convergence of various existing government schemes. The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure Scheme (AMI), Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM), and the Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME) are being integrated to support this initiative. This synergy aims to optimize resources and streamline the development of agricultural infrastructure.

The committee also discussed strategies for scaling the project nationwide. Key considerations include the linkage of godowns with various stakeholders to ensure efficient storage and distribution. The identification of additional PACS by States/UTs and National Cooperative Federations like NCCF and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) is underway to expand storage capacity and other agricultural infrastructure.

By leveraging multi-agency collaboration and converging various government schemes, the project aims to create a robust, decentralized storage infrastructure that could significantly enhance the efficiency and sustainability of India’s agricultural sector.

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