Enough room to store wheat harvest, says FCI
India’s grain procurement agency, the Food Corporation of India (FCI), said that it had made enough room to store an oncoming bumper crop, as the country expected its highest wheat yield ever — 81-82 million tonnes.delhi Updated: Apr 08, 2010 00:24 IST
India’s grain procurement agency, the Food Corporation of India (FCI), said that it had made enough room to store an oncoming bumper crop, as the country expected its highest wheat yield ever — 81-82 million tonnes.
India enforced a ban on wheat export in February 2007 to shore up supplies and curb inflation, causing stocks to spill out of silos and prone to damage.
The FCI said that in 18 months or so, all of India’s openly stored grains would be moved to covered warehouses. “We have taken steps to augment storage and identified 12.7 million tonnes of additional storage space. In the next 18 months or so, you won’t see grains being stored in the open,” FCI chairman and managing director Siraj Hussain said on Wednesday.
Hussain until last month headed the country’s public distribution system as joint secretary in the food ministry and is expected to streamline the FCI’s operations.
The new FCI chief said his agency would buy a record 26.3 million tonnes of wheat for federal reserves this year against 25.4 million tonnes a year ago.
Hussain said the FCI is confident of making adequate room for the bumper harvest. The FCI has hired an additional capacity of 2.8 million tonnes for the new harvest. For immediate open storage — till 12.7 million tonnes of covered capacity is added — open-storage infrastructure, like wooden platforms, of 4,23,000 tonnes capacity has been constructed across states like Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The FCI chief said his agency, which manages the country’s foodstocks, was ready to fulfil the mandate of the upcoming food security law. “We have enough stocks to fulfil obligations,” he said.