FOOD GRAIN STORAGE IN INDIA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     27th November 2023        

Context: India is the third-largest producer of food grains but has the capacity to store only 47% of a year’s grain output. The space shortage is a big impediment to the growth of the economy that was featured 111th on the Global Hunger Index recently.

Key Points

  • According to FAO Statistical Data of 2021, the country’s food grain production is 311 million tonnes (mt) and storage capacity is only 145 mt a shortage of 166 mt in storage. 
  • Some countries have a storage surplus of 130% of their output.
  • Causes to Wastage: According to a 2021 report by the World Bank, India’s infrastructure deficit is estimated to be around $1.5 trillion. 
  • Poor Infrastructure: The report also states that roads are in a poor state, and this is a major constraint to agricultural productivity
  • Power Supply: India’s power supply is unreliable, and this makes it difficult for farmers to store and process their crops.
  • Distribution of Agri Warehouses: Around 60% of modern warehousing capacity is concentrated in and around Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Food Grain Storage Capacity in India

  • India's food grain storage capacity stands at 145 million metric tonnes (MMT) in contrast to the total food production of 311 MMT, resulting in a gap of 166 MMT.
  • The storage capacity equates to 47% of India's total food grain production.
  • Regional Disparities: At the regional level, only a handful of southern states boast a storage capacity exceeding 90%.
  • Conversely, in northern states such as UP and Bihar, the storage capacity falls below 50%.

World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan

  • About: The plan centers on establishing storage facilities and agricultural infrastructure at the Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) level. 
  • Aim: To bolster food security and minimize wastage.
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