Union Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey on Tuesday highlighted that storage losses of foodgrains have declined by half to marginal 0.003 per cent and said the government is modernising mandies to further reduce the wastage of crops after procurement from farmers.
Addressing a CII conference, he said the Centre has decided to stop storage of foodgrains in Cover & Plinth (CAP) structures, which will further help in reducing the storage losses.
"We are trying to modernise mandies to reduce wastage," he said, while asserting that storage losses should be minimum.
He highlighted that the storage losses have come down to 0.003 per cent from 0.006 per cent few years back.
The secretary noted that the Centre through Food Corporation of India and other state procurement agencies handle 100 million tonnes of foodgrains.
Pandey also informed that as a policy, storage of foodgrains in CAP has been stopped and done away with. "This is a major policy decision," he said.
Emphasising on diversification of food basket, he said the government is focusing on increasing the production and procurement of coarse cereals.
However, Pandey said the procurement level of millets is currently less.
The secretary highlighted that the Centre is providing highly subsidised foodgrains to over 80 crore people through National Food Security Act (NFSA).
Under the food law, which was passed by Parliament in 2013, the Centre provides 5 kg of fodgrains per person per month at Rs 1-3 per kg.
Pandey said the Centre distributes more than 100 million tonnes of foodgrains during the COVID pandemic.
The secretary stressed on the need for a policy shift towards diversion of food basket to ensure nutritional security.
Pandey pointed out that the country imports edible oils and pulses worth thousand of crores every year, while producing huge surplus of wheat and rice.
Speaking at the event, Food Processing Secretary Pushpa Subrahmanyam said the processing level of fruits and vegetables as well as other products.
She highlighted that the government is running various programmes and schemes to boost food processing sector in the country.
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