The Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) will offer a 30% discount to agricultural producer organizations (OPAs), promoted by Nabard, on the use of the agency’s storage space in 423 warehouses across the country. This can help meet farmers’ need for immediate storage to conserve crops, especially when prices fall due to the overabundance of supply during the harvest season.
CWC, with a storage capacity of 14.5 million tonnes, and Nabard on Wednesday reached an agreement to provide the facilities to farmers at lower rates over the next five years, according to a statement from Nabard. This will directly benefit the approximately 4,000 FPOs set up with Nabard’s assistance.
“The country needs to double its current storage capacity to nearly 300 million tonnes to make a substantial difference,” said Nabard President GR Chintala. There will be no limit on the amount of agricultural products in these CWC warehouses under this agreement. While any amount can be stored by OPS, these facilities will benefit those who hold large amounts, officials said.
Stressing that grain losses are a significant problem, Chintala said the ecological value of every kilogram of rice or wheat lost due to lack of storage is far more than its economic value.
A study by the Ludhiana-based Central Institute of Postharvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) estimated postharvest losses for all agricultural products at Rs 92,651 crore per year.
“Our decision to give a 30% rebate to OPS stems from our belief that we must engage with these large farmer groups to make a substantial difference in the short to medium term,” said Arun Kumar Shrivastava, MD , CWC. The agency will also provide FPOs with access to air cargo operations, handling and transportation, as well as pest control services.
The public sector company will provide a holistic storage solution to all interested FPOs through its modern warehouses with a tracking system and professional workforce that can also serve as shopping areas, said Shrivastava. One of the three agricultural laws, currently suspended by the Supreme Court, had authorized trade outside the mandate of the Agricultural Market Committee (APMC).