The storage crunch faced by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state government-owned agencies seems to have eased a little with a dip in the amount of foodgrains available with Centre.
The stock available with government is reported in excess of 68 million tonne at the start of the month.
As per latest data on Friday, the government stocks declined by more than 1 million tonne during last one month. Out of the total grains — mostly rice and wheat — stocks of more than 68 mt, FCI has 30.6 mt of rice and 37.6 mt of wheat in its godowns.
Although grain stocks have declined from its peak at 81 mt in June, the stocks at the start of the month was far excess of requirement under the strategic reserve and buffer stocks norms of 25 mt on January 1.
A food ministry official told FE that with wheat stocks of more than 37 million tonne, more grains will be loaded in the open market in next few weeks besides exports.
The food stocks are also at alarming levels as FCI and other agencies have storage capacities to keep grains to the tune of 61 million tonne. This includes 18 mt of cover and plinth capacity that can’t keep the grains intact for more than a few weeks. The stocks are expected to rise further in the coming months as rice procurement picks up in states such as Chhattisgarh, Orissa and AP. The government is aiming at purchasing a record volume of rice at 40 mt.
“We need to give more incentive for wheat exports besides supplying more grain to the open market,” a FCI official said. After FCI winded up wheat purchase operations for a record 39 mt earlier in June, there had been shortage of wheat in the private market as government has lifted more than 40% of the total production.
Govt firms up storage with silos tender plan
New Delhi : The FCI is planning to firm up its storage capacity by inviting tenders for the creation of two million tonne capacity silos through PPP mode by March. CRISIL, sources said, has been appointed by the FCI to develop the technical and financial specifications for the tendering process.
FCI has been working on the tender plan despite reservations raised by Planning Commission. “We have started preparation of technical and financial specifications for silos and hope to complete them by end of