Poor storage facilities leading to food wastage: Pawar

Poor storage facilities leading to food wastage: Pawar

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. PTI

"The condition of the godowns in the country is not good and that is resulting in the rotting of foodgrains," he said, speaking at a function here.

The government has acknowledged that the country wastes Rs 58,000 crore worth of food items every year due to lack of or poor storage facilities.

Pawar admitted that the government (FCI) godowns were packed to capacity and the big question was how to accommodate the promised bumper rabi (winter) harvest.
The rabi crop has already begun arriving at the markets.

Pawar's statement comes after repeated accusations from the Opposition over poor and unhygienic maintenance of wheat in Food Corporation of India godowns.

"As the Food Minister of the country, my biggest concern is about the food stocks. TV channels have shown footage of how foodgrains are rotting in the godowns," he said.
"The godowns of FCI are 92 to 93 per cent full. Also, there is an expectation of a good produce this year. There will be now question on how to store the foodgrains," Pawar said, adding the government was "planning to hire godowns for seven years.

Storage or no storage, the government will pay for the godowns for seven years," he added.

Pawar also ruled out any relief for farmers with regard to loans, such as the Rs 60,000-crore loan waiver announced in 2008. "There will be no more loan waivers," he said.
He had earlier said that there was a need to tone up storage facilities by creating modern warehouses.

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