Farmers, including small and marginal ones, would be able to use warehousing facilities of the State-owned Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) for storing their produce.
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development on Wednesday said it has joined hands with CWC to provide better storage facilities.
Though this first-of-its-kind arrangement is mainly meant for farmers affiliated to farmer producer organisations (FPOs), it would be extended to individual farmers, too. The scheme will be launched as a pilot in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, the officials said.
A 2015 report assessed that commodities worth ₹92,651 crore are lost due to harvest and post-harvest stages in the country.
“We need to double our current warehousing capacity to nearly 300 million tonnes to make any substantial difference to the current scenario. Let us not forget that the ecological value of each kilo of rice or wheat we lose is much more than the economic value. It is only these out-of-box solutions which will finally make a difference in the warehousing space,” said NABARD Chairman GR Chintala.
Arun Kumar Shrivastava, MD, CWC, stated, “What we need today is not just warehouses but modern warehouses with tracking system and professional manpower which can also double up as trading areas. CWC has the wherewithal to provide a holistic storage solution to all interested FPOs, which we perceive as the logical channel partners for us in CWC. Our decision to provide a 30 per cent 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 to mid run.”
CWC currently controls 432 warehouses across the country. If the State Warehousing Corporations, in which CWC has a stake, are taken into considering there would be an additional 2,500 storage facilities.
“A large number of farmers have very small farm holdings. They will not be able to build a warehouse in this land to store their grains. At the same time, the quantum of his produce is so low that he cannot go to a middleman who operates a warehouse. On the other hand, the job of CWC, which has been in existence since 1969, is to create warehouses for scientific storage of grains,” said Sanjeev Rohilla, CEO of NABFoundation, a not-for-profit Section 8 company of NABARD, which will be responsible for connecting with FPOs for this scheme.
“What we provide is not just storage. We will help them in grading, assaying and in quality check of the produce the farmers store. As all our warehouses are registered with WDRA (Warehousing Development and Regulatory Agency) we would be able to issue electronic warehouse receipts which would help them to get finance from banks,” said Amit Kumar Singh, Director (Marketing and Corporate Planning) at CWC.