Department of Storage and Marketing - Initiatives
Consequent upon a separate allocation of 2000 crore in 2011-12, as a part of Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), for supporting creation of storage infrastructure for agricultural commodities, NABARD set up the Department of Storage and Marketing (DSM) in the Head Office. The primary objective of DSM is to provide financial assistance to various stakeholders for supporting creation of agriculture storage infrastructure including warehouses, silos and cold chain activities (cold storage, controlled atmosphere store, reefer vans, pre-cooling units, etc.), as also taking suitable steps/initiatives aimed at putting in place mechanism to empower farmers to realise a better price for their produce by improving access to the wider markets. In addition, DSM also collaborates with Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) for facilitating accreditation/registration of warehouses in the rural areas. Some of the initiatives taken by DSM to achieve its objectives are listed in the following paragraphs.
- Direct lending to State Owned Entities
Although RIDF guidelines provided for direct lending to state owned entities for implementing infrastructure projects in rural areas, NABARD had never lent directly to state owned agencies out of RIDF so far. Consequent upon the allocation of 5000 crore for supporting creation of storage infrastructure for the year 2012-13, DSM, for the first time, provided direct financial assistance to 07 state owned entities for the construction of 117 new warehouses with the total project cost of more than 400 crore. This would result in the creation of an additional storage space of almost 1.00 million MT in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, Odissa and Uttar Pradesh. Direct assistance to state owned entities is likely to reduce the time taken for the completion of the projects.
- Accreditation/Registration of Warehouses
Government of India (GoI) enacted Warehousing Development and Regulation Act in the year 2007 and constituted Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) in 2010. WDRA is responsible for the implementation of the provisions of WDR Act and development & regulation of warehousing sector in the country. One of the initiatives taken by WDRA pertain to the registration of warehouses, subject to fulfillment of certain benchmarks, thereby enabling them to issue Negotiable Warehouse Receipts (NWRs). DSM, at the request of WDRA, prepared separate norms/benchmarks for smaller warehouses in the rural areas, so that they could easily fulfill the requirement of WDRA for accreditation/registration and issue NWRs. This will help a large number of small and marginal farmers to avail concessional post harvest loans against NWRs. DSM has also helped Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh ROs in their efforts to get warehouses owned by Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies accredited/registered by WDRA.
- Capacity Building by Stakeholders
An important function of DSM is to undertake steps with a view to building up capacities/capabilities of all the stakeholders, so as to achieve its mandate more effectively. In this direction, DSM has helped BIRD to organise training programs for the Officers of NABARD and also for the Officers of Commercial Banks, RRBs and Cooperative Banks. DSM also organised a 5 day exposure program for the senior executives of NABARD with a view to providing them an insight into various facets of agricultural storage and marketing sector in the country.
Similarly, during 2012-13, DSM in collaboration with National Collateral Management Service Ltd. (NCMSL), implemented a pilot project for creating awareness among the farmers and warehousemen about scientific storage and foodgrain management. As part of this project, 100 awareness workshops/programs were conducted for farmers and another 20 for the warehousemen in 10 districts of 5 states viz., Rajasthan (Bikaner and Sriganganagar), Gujarat (Junagadh and Rajkot), Madhya Pradesh (Indore & Devas), Andhra Pradesh(Guntur and Karnool) and Karnataka (Gulbarga & Davengere).