FCI overhaul a landmark, says food minister on its 60th anniversary | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

FCI overhaul a landmark, says food minister on its 60th anniversary

Jan 14, 2024 03:27 PM IST

In 2022-23, the FCI bought 76.56 million tonnes of paddy and 26.2 million tonnes of wheat from about 12.3 million cultivators, paying them ₹2.19 lakh crore in all

India’s self-sufficiency in food, which ensures no citizen in the world’s most populous country sleeps hungry, is one of the “greatest achievements in human history”, Union minister of food, commerce and consumer affairs Piyush Goyal said on Sunday, lauding the role of the Food Corporation of India on its 60th founding anniversary.

Union minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday addressed the FCI event virtually (Twitter/ video screengrab)
Union minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday addressed the FCI event virtually (Twitter/ video screengrab)

The FCI, which runs the government’s granaries, must keep winning the trust of farmers through transparency in its operations, adopt more digital technologies to achieve high quality and explore ways to keep its expenses under limit, Giyal said.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

The statutory organisation has been critical to maintaining the country’s food security, as it buys millions of tonnes of farm produce from farmers at federally fixed minimum support prices (MSP), a process known as procurement. It then redistributes the food to 800 million poor people free of cost under the National Food Security Act. MSP is a floor price to help avoid distress sale by agriculturists.

At an event marked by diverse cultural performances, Goyal acknowledged the role of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in setting up the federal food agency. The FCI has launched a modernisation drive, setting up automated weighing bridges, installing closed-circuit cameras, mechanised loading of freight and bringing in efficiencies in its operation, Goyal said.

Union food secretary Sanjeev Chopra and the FCI’s chairman-cum-managing director Ashok K Meena, who attended the event, presented mementos to past directors and sportspersons who are employees of the agency and have won global fame, including Olympic medals and Arjuna Awards, India highest sport award.

Goyal said the agency’s functions were critical to India’s journey towards being a developed country, but there should be “no place for complacency”. “Buying food from farmers and distributing it to the poor helps to strengthen every child through food security,” he said.

The FCI, through its market interventions, whereby it sells grains to bulk buyers, has helped to bring down inflation and stabilise supplies. Onions, whose export India has currently banned, are being bought by the FCI at good prices, helping to balance consumers’ and farmers’ interests, the minister added.

In 2022-23, the agency bought 76.56 million tonnes of paddy and 26.2 million tonnes of wheat from about 12.3 million cultivators, paying them 2.19 lakh crore in all, according to official data. The total cost is accounted for as the government’s food subsidy bill.

The agency has spruced up its countrywide operations, introducing artificial intelligence-based equipment to detect fraud in its processes involving millions of farmers, a large network of transporters and silos, HT reported on Sunday.

Discover the complete story of India's general elections on our exclusive Elections Product! Access all the content absolutely free on the HT App. Download now!

Get Current Updates on India News, Ram Navami Live Updates , Lok Sabha Election 2024 live, Elections 2024, Election 2024 Date along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Zia Haq reports on public policy, economy and agriculture. Particularly interested in development economics and growth theories.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On