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Rise of the warehousing solution

The Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), a Mini Ratna public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution was established in 1957 to provide scientific storage facilities for a wide range of commodities including foodgrains, fertilisers and agricultural inputs Its managing director B.B. Pattanaik spoke to HT on a range of issues.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2010 00:44 IST
Gaurav Choudhury

The Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), a Mini Ratna public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution was established in 1957 to provide scientific storage facilities for a wide range of commodities including foodgrains, fertilisers and agricultural inputs Its managing director B.B. Pattanaik spoke to HT on a range of issues. Excerpts:

What are CWC’s main activities?

CWC has been providing warehousing and logistics infrastructure facilities to a wide range of clients including farmers, traders, industrial houses, importers and exporters for storage of above 400 commodities. Set up primarily for storage of foodgrains and other agricultural produce to avoid distress sale by the farmers, CWC has, over the years, substantially diversified its activities and presently operates 492 warehouses with 11 million tones. We are also operating a warehouse in Philippines on management basis. CWC has further diversified into running container trains and operates container trains on Delhi-JN Port Sector.

How did CWC perform in 2008-09 and how is it faring in the current year?

Despite the economic downturn, CWC achieved its highest ever turnover of Rs 850 crore during 2008-09. During the current year, with the average capacity utilisation further improving to about 85 per cent in spite of the drop in export-import traffic, we would see a growth of about 10 per cent in the turnover. By the year end, about one lakh MT capacity will be added to accommodate ensuing Rabi arrivals.

What have been the contributions of CWC to farmers?

CWC has been a pioneer in implementing the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) when it introduced its farmers extension service scheme (FESS) in 1978-79 for educating farmers on scientific storage and preservation of stocks at farm level and post harvest loss minimisation. At present the scheme is operated through 270 rural based warehouses and about 5000 progressive farmers are trained annually.

What are CWC’s other diversified activities?

CWC is aggressively marketing its pest control activities under which disinfestations and pest control services are provided at the door step of the customers. These include disinfestations of rail coaches, air crafts, EXIM containers and ships besides pre- and post-construction anti-termite treatment, etc.

What are future plans of CWC?

CWC plans to set up few more CFSs besides creation of cold chain infrastructure for perishable cargo under National Horticulture Mission scheme .