Stressing the need to create sufficient space for storage of food grains, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today directed the food and supplies department to take up with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) the issue of expediting shifting out of food stocks from the state's warehouses and mandis.
The chief minister said the FCI must increase the monthly quantum of food grain delivery from Punjab from the current 13 LMT to 20 LMT so that adequate storage capacity could be created in the warehouses and mandis for both wheat and rice.
He also suggested that in addition to efforts towards increasing covered storage facilities, FCI should be asked to further augment their storage capacity in Punjab to minimise the state's burden to preserve the food grains.
Amarinder also asked the department to raise with FCI the issue of providing guarantee for creation of 17 lakh tonnes silo capacity at 31 locations, for which agreements had already been executed by PUNGRAIN, failing which the process would have to be scrapped and fresh tenders would have to be floated as per FCI policy.
During the meeting, the chief minister stressed on the need to aggressively motivate farmers to go in for crop diversification in order to break away from the wheat-paddy cycle to make agriculture profitable and viable again.
Earlier in the meeting, the principal secretary, food and supplies, informed the chief minister that during the present rabi season, more than 125 lakh tonnes wheat had been procured, of which 84 lakh tonnes had been supplied to food deficit states.
The department was targeting procurement of more than 117 lakh tonnes paddy in the forthcoming season, he added.
He further informed the meeting that the state, by the end of May 2018, had 232.67 lakh tonnes of food grain stocks, of which 165.50 lakh tonnes was expected to move out by March 2019.
By that time, the state would have 175.22 lakh tonnes of foodgrain stock following the paddy harvest.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)