New Delhi: The government on Monday said it will contribute 15.32 million tonnes foodgrain to set up a food bank with an initial capacity of 24.3 million tonnes to promote collective self-reliance of SAARC nations with respect to food security.
“The government has pledged to contribute 1,53,200 tonnes of foodgrain (rice or wheat or in combination thereof) for the SAARC food bank, out of initial reserves of 2,43,000 tonnes to promote collective self-reliance of SAARC members with respect to food security,” minister of state for food and public distribution Akhilesh Prasad Singh said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
The food bank has become operational with the first meeting of the SAARC food bank board on 15-16 October, he said.
India remained the largest contributor to the bank, while Pakistan and Bangladesh will offer 40,000 tonnes each. Nepal and Sri Lanka will provide 4,000 tonnes each followed by Afghanistan (1,420 tonnes), Maldives (200 tonnes) and Bhutan (180 tonnes), he added.