Bangalore: India would add 15 million tonnes additional storage capacity in the country with an investment of Rs 7,000 crore by next year-end, union minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K V Thomas said today.
Speaking at a conference on Negotiable Warehouse Receipts System and later talking to reporters, he said India at present has a storage capacity of 62 million tonnes.
“...the gap in warehousing is still estimated at 32 million tonnes and the private sector has to come forward to meet the agri-warehousing requirments of the country”.
Warehousing capacity of 150 lakh tonnes (15 million) is being added in different states, an exercise which would be completed by end of 2012, he said at the event, organised by Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
The Minister said WDRA needs to be more farmer-friendly.
Thomas urged agriculture universities to come out with some syllabus to produce quality inspectors for jobs at warehouses, and assured adequate funding by the Central government for such an initiative.
WDRA chairman Dinesh Rai said the private sector, which now accounts for just 15-17% of the country’s storage capacity, needs to be offered more incentives to get into the warehousing sector in a big way.
He called for a comprehensive post-harvest policy covering among others aspects of credit and cold storage facilities, adding, warehouses also needed to deploy quality grading equipment in their operations.