PM Modi announces world’s largest grain storage plan 

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PM Modi announces world’s largest grain storage plan 

| Updated: February 25, 2024 17:54

Even as farmers’ clamour for a guarantee of Minimum Support Price for 23 crops is growing, Prime Narendra Modi announced a plan to set up the “world’s largest grain storage plan in the cooperative sector”. 

The PM admitted that the absence of storage infrastructure adversely impacted farmers. “Earlier governments never focused on storage of agricultural produce. Our plan is to set up a storage infrastructure of 700 lakh metric tons over the next five years at a cost of Rs 1.25 lakh crore. 

“This will enable farmers to store their produce and sell it at the right time according to their own needs. This will also help them to avail loans from banks,” he said during the inauguration of a pilot project in 11 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) in 11 states under the largest grain storage plan

Additionally, he launched 500 PACS to construct godowns and other agri infrastructure, besides inaugurating a project for computerisation in 18,000 PACS across the country, such that farming complemented cutting-edge technology and adopted digital payments.

“The vision of Sahakar se Samriddhi (prosperity through cooperatives) is to rejuvenate the cooperative sector and empower small and marginal farmers. Cooperatives have a great role in strengthening farming. That is why we have set up a separate Cooperation Ministry,” India’s PM was quoted as saying.

“Farmers today even export their produce through Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO). Eight thousand FPOs are already functional. Our target is to set up 10,000 FPOs. Even those involved in animal husbandry and fishing are benefiting from cooperatives. Our aim is to have 2-lakh cooperative societies.”

He emphasised the role of women in ushering in a change in the farming sector, as he recounted his days as the Chief Minister of Gujarat when he “experienced the strength of cooperatives.”  

“The world knows Amul and Lijjat Papad. Women led these initiatives. Today, crores of women are part of cooperatives of farmers. Given this fact, we have given women priority,” he said, adding that women directors were mandated in the boards of multi-state cooperative societies. 

And he didn’t cease to remind the constitutional amendment act that opened up women’s reservation in Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies.

He also urged cooperatives to foray into the fertiliser sector which will help cut down the country’s import bill. He pointed out the irony of India importing edible oil and pulses despite being an agrarian society. 

“Cooperatives are an ancient system in Bharat. Even our shastras talk about it. In the ancient rural economy, cooperatives were always present. They were the base of our self-reliant society. It isn’t just a system but also a spirit. It can give results beyond resources. Cooperatives solve farmers’ problems through group/collective strength.”

“For Viksit Bharat, modernising agriculture is very important. We are preparing PACS for new responsibilities. They are also working as centres to run PM Kisan Samriddhi Kendra. We have allowed them to sell petrol, diesel and LPG. Their sources of income are increasing in number. Through computerisation, they are now being connected with Digital India,” the PM said.

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