Storage and Transport and Marketing of Agriculture Produce 

Mains Marks Booster     5th August 2023        
output themes

Storage of agriculture produce: Storage is a part of agriculture marketing that involves holding and preserving goods from the time they are needed for consumption.

Storage capacity in India

  • The total storage capacity available with Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the State Agencies (both owned and hired capacity), is 819.19 LMT.
    • However, these government agencies use 66% (60 MMT) of India’s total agri storage capacity which also includes hired capacity of 23 MMT. 
  • FAO estimates that more than 40% of food produced in India is wasted due to lack of proper cold storage facilities. 

Significance of Storage in Agriculture:

    • It ensures a continuous flow of goods in the market, even for perishable products.
    • Ensures food security by maintaining continuous supply of food grains in the market, even for perishable and semi perishable products.
    • Helps in price stabilization in the market by adjusting demand & supply of commodities. 

Importance of warehouses:

Importance of warehouses:

Challenges/issues to agriculture storage

    • Inadequate storage infrastructure: With many storage facilities lacking proper ventilation, pest control, and temperature control. 
    • Regional Disparity in Storage capacity: More than 60% of storage capacity of FCI located in large procurement states like Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
    • Poor maintenance: According to CAG 2013, food grains in centre pool in Punjab and Haryana are damaged due to inadequate, scientific and safe storage.
    • Lack of Private Investment resulting in inadequate investment in storage infrastructure and maintenance.

Steps taken by the government to improve storage infrastructure

  • Negotiable Warehouse Receipt (NWR) system: Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA), Government of India ensures implementation of the NWR.
  • Loans for construction of storage facilities (warehouses, market yards, godowns and silos) are included under the Priority Sector lending (PSL) norms. 
    • Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee Scheme to incentivize construction of godowns by the Private players
  • Subsidy for the construction of cold storage facilities

Way forward

  • Shanta Kumar Committee has recommended Modernization of storage infrastructure by replacing covered and plinth storage with silo technology and conventional methods.  
  • Private sector participation to increase competition and improve efficiency.
  • Decentralization of storage to reduce transportation costs and minimize spoilage.
  • Use of technology such as GPS tracking and remote sensing to monitor food grain storage facilities and prevent losses.
  • Capacity building by training its staff in modern storage practices and management techniques.
  • Rationalization of buffer stocks by reducing excess stocks and maintaining only the required minimum levels.

Apart from all the infrastructure and subsidy support the farmer community needs to be educated to form cooperatives and organize into larger bodies that would construct storage capacity and various production pockets.