New food law: Nabard to put up 10K warehouses in panchayats
Nabard has kick-started an ambitious project to build 10,000 warehouses at panchayat level
Mumbai: Anticipating that Food Security Act may create a storage capacity shortfall for around 15 lakh tonne foodgrain, Nabard has kick-started an ambitious project to build 10,000 warehouses at panchayat level this fiscal envisaging an investment of nearly Rs 5,000 crore.
The proposed warehouses will be set up in association with primary cooperatives and the money is already provided for in the budget, Nabard Chairman Prakash Bakshi said.
“We are on our own trying to take up a very large initiative of creating warehouses with cooperatives at panchayats. We have planned to set up 10,000 such warehouses this year,” he said during a recent interaction, adding that around 300 such warehouses have already been put up.
On whether the target is too ambitious, Bakshi conceded that probably it is and that they may fall short of target.
However, whatever the number it achieves this fiscal will help it scale up to 20,000 such units by end of next fiscal.
Speaking on the need for such facilities, especially in light of the passage of the landmark Food Security Act, Bakshi said, “a lot of warehousing space is required and at least 15 lakh ton capacity should be created immediately to meet additional requirement.”
On the investment side, Bakshi said the budget has already earmarked Rs 5,000 crore towards creation of warehousing facilities which will be used for this project. Just like the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund, this money is also drawn from commercial banks’ shortfall in priority sector lending targets, he explained.
Nabard’s idea revolves around building storage facilities close to the farmers, who cannot take their produce to distant places and then sew up the right tie-ups for standardization through which farmers get help in their marketing produce.