The Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) will provide a 30% discount to farmer producers organisations (FPOs), promoted by Nabard, on using the agency’s storage space in 423 warehouses across the country. This may help meet immediate storage need of the farmers to hold onto the crops particularly when prices fall due to supply glut in harvesting season.
CWC, having a storage capacity of 14.5 million tonne, and Nabard entered into an agreement on Wednesday to provide the facilities to farmers at cheaper rates over next five years, according to a statement from Nabard. This will directly benefit about 4,000 FPOs set up on aid from Nabard.
“The country needs to double current warehousing capacity to nearly 300 million tonne to make any substantial difference” said Nabard chairman GR Chintala. There will be no limits on the quantity of agri produce in these CWC warehouses under this arrangement. Though any quantity can be stored by FPOs, these facilities will benefit those who keep large quantities, officials said.
Pointing that grain losses is an important issue, Chintala said the ecological value of each kilogram of rice or wheat lost due to lack of storage is much more than its economic value.
A study by Ludhiana-based Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering & Technology (CIPHET) has pegged post-harvest losses for all agri commodities at Rs 92,651 crore per year.
“Our decision to provide a 30% rebate to FPOs stems from our belief that we need to engage with these large bodies of farmers to make a substantial difference in the short and medium-term,” said Arun Kumar Shrivastava, MD, CWC. The agency will also provide FPOs access to air cargo operations, handling and transportation, and pest control services.
The public sector firm will provide a holistic storage solution to all interested FPOs through its modern warehouses with tracking system and professional manpower which can also double up as trading areas, Shrivastava said. One of the three farm laws, currently under suspension by the Supreme Court, had allowed trading outside Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis.