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NLCC Holds Inaugural Meeting for World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan

New Delhi: The National Level Coordination Committee (NLCC) for the world’s largest grain storage plan convened its maiden meeting at the Ministry of Cooperation in New Delhi on Monday. The meeting, chaired by Dr. Ashish Kumar Bhutani, Secretary of the Ministry of Cooperation, included key officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the Ministry of Food and Public Distribution, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, and the Managing Director of the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).

The committee, comprising representatives from the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA), and other stakeholders, reviewed the progress of the pilot project initiated last year in 11 states. This ambitious plan aims to create extensive agricultural infrastructure at the Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) level, including warehouses, custom hiring centers, processing units, and Fair Price Shops.

Dr. Bhutani highlighted the integration of various existing government schemes, such as the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure Scheme (AMI), Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM), and the Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME), to realize this extensive plan. “This project is one of the most ambitious undertakings by the Government of India, envisioning the creation of decentralized warehouses for a nationwide rollout,” stated Dr. Bhutani.

The pilot project is being implemented by the NCDC with support from NABARD, FCI, the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), and NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS) in coordination with the respective states and union territories. The pilot project is set to expand to an additional 500 PACS with the support of state governments, the National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF), and the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC).

During the meeting, states, union territories, and national-level cooperative federations, including NCCF and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED), identified more PACS for the creation of storage capacity and other agricultural infrastructure under the project. The committee also discussed strategies to scale up the plan nationwide and explored potential options for linking the new godowns with various stakeholders to ensure seamless implementation and operation.

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