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India looks to China for advanced foodgrain storage
Published on 5 Jun. 2010 10:59 PM IST
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An Indian delegation leaves for China Monday to study advanced foodgrain storage technology, with a huge quantity of grain rotting in India due to lack of such facilities. The four-member delegation, led by Minister of State for Agriculture K.V. Thomas, has been invited by China’s grains department.
“We still rely on the old technology for storage of foodgrain. Their technology is well advanced. The aim of our visit is to study their advanced technology in storaging foodgrains,” Thomas said.
The four-member delegation includes, besides Thomas, one person each from Central Warehousing Corp (CWC), Food Corp of India (FCI) and the food and civil supplies ministry, said official sources. It will return June 12 after visiting Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian and Guangzhou.
Thomas said China has a shaped system of grain storage education and research. “China has advanced storage facilities. They are equipped with the most modern technology. Most elevators have been equipped with power ventilation appliances. They have computer controlled temperature measuring systems and recycling fumigation devices,” Thomas told IANS. He said better foodgrain storage facilities are a must as India prepares to implement the Food Security Act.
Thomas said India needed to develop an additional 172 lakh tonnes of foodgrain storage facility. “It is necessary that modern technology should be used for buffer and operational stock of foodgrains to maintain the public distribution system and general warehousing,” he said.
Thomas said the broad approach is to provide scientific storage capacity. He also said the government was worried over reports from various states that thousands of quintals of foodgrain were rotting in the open due to the shortage of warehouses.
In India, there are three agencies in the public sector engaged in building largescale storage/warehousing capacity - FCI, CWC and 17 State Warehousing Corporations. About 70% of farm produce is stored by farmers for their own consumption. Farmers store grain in bulk, using different types of storage structures made from locally available materials. Storage losses constitute a major share of food grain loss in postproduction operations.

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