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    Amid COVID-19, FCI becomes a lifeline for food distribution

  • Date : 29 May, 2020

    New Delhi: The Food Corporation of India (FCI) workforce have emerged as 'Food Warriors' at the time of global pandemic crisis while undertaking record loading, unloading and transportation of food grains during the lockdown period. On the other hand, procurement also continued without disruptions and the wheat procurement by government agencies this year surpassed the last year’s figures.

    The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan on 29th May, 2020 chaired the review meeting with the Food Corporation of India’s Zonal Executive Directors and Regional General Managers on the distribution and procurement of food grains, through video conference. In his address, Mr Paswan lauded the role of FCI during the lockdown and said food grain movement has been at an all-time high.

    A look at the distribution of food grains in the states and UTs:

    Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package

    Government of India has made allocation of 8.00 LMT food grains (2.44 LMT wheat and 5.56 LMT Rice) to 37 State/UTs for the months of May and June 2020.  According to FCI, against this allocation, up to 27th May, 2020, 2.06 LMT food grains have been lifted by the States/UTs. Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh and Lakshadweep have lifted the entire allocation foe two months. The Minister directed the FCI to coordinate with the State/UT Governments and expedite the lifting of food grains.

    Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana

    Under this scheme, Government has made allocation of 120.04 LMT food grain (15.65 LMT wheat and 104.4 LMT Rice) to 37 State/UTs for the months of April, May and June 2020. While reviewing this scheme Mr Paswan asked the concerned officials to coordinate with State/UTs Government to expedite the lifting, so that the food grains reach the beneficiary in time. FCI informed, against the PMGKAY allocation, up to 27.05.2020,  95.80 LMT food grain (15.6 LMT wheat and 83.38 LMT Rice) have been lifted by the States/UTs.

    Sale of food grain to Charitable NGOs under OMSS(D) without e-auction

    As per the instructions of Government of India, up to 25th May, FCI has approved sale of 1179 MT wheat to 186 organizations and 8496 MT rice to 890 organizations against which 886 MT wheat & 7778 MT rice have been lifted by these organizations.

    Amphan Cyclone in West Bengal and Odisha

    As per FCI, West Bengal Government has requested 11,800 MT rice stock under OMSS (D) sale without e-auction @Rs.2250/- per qtl, but no requirement of food grains has been intimated by the Odisha Government till date. Mr Paswan told the FCI to coordinate with the State Governments of West Bengal and Odisha and appraise the latest status of food grains in the Cyclone hit states.

    Procurement (Rice/Wheat)

    In the review meeting the minister reviewed the sale of wheat in RMS 2020-21 and procurement rice in KMS 2019-20. As the procurement of wheat is already ahead of its last year's procurement quantity, the minister asked FCI to update the further wheat (RMS 2020-21) and rice (KMS 20-21) procurement. According to FCI as on 27th May, total 351 LMT wheat (RMS20-21) has been procured.  60.40 LMT rice (RMS) has been procured. Total 700.29 LMT paddy  (including 470.23 LMT rice) has been procured in 2019-20.

    Movement of food grains

    Since the lockdown, food grains have been lifted and transported across the country including North Eastern States though roads, railways, waterways and by air in difficult and hilly areas. About 100 LT food grains have been transported through 3550 rail rakes. 12 LT food grains have been transported through roads and 12,000 Tonnes of food grains was transported through 12 ships. Total 9.61 LMT food grains have been transported to North Eastern states.

    Stocks in Central Pool

    FCI informed about the current stock position of food grains as on 27th May, 2020. Officials said 479.40 LMT wheat and 272.29 LMT rice, total 751.69 LMT food grain are available in the Central Pool. Expressing satisfaction at the stock position to meet the country's present and future need of food grains, Mr Paswan pledged the government's all-out support to FCI officers and workers who have been toiling hard during this period of crisis.

 















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EDITOR'S NOTE

03 Jul 2020

Food supply chain is critical to survival in the times of COVID-19

While streamlining the supply chain is a herculean task, India can’t afford to bear the collapse of its food system as it will have a spiraling effect on both the economy as well as the vast population, es