Amid shortage of railway racks, government has for the first time allowed state-run FCI to use the sea route for transporting 20,000 tonnes of foodgrains from Andhra Pradesh to Kerala.
FCI moves foodgrains for public distribution system (PDS) from producing states to consuming states largely through road and rail routes. In hilly areas, foodgrains are transported using helicopters.
"A beginning in this regard has been made with Food Minister K V Thomas approving the container movement of 20,000 tonnes of rice per month from Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh to Kochi in Kerala through ship," an official statement said today.
FCI, which has been moving huge quantities of food grains from one part of the country to another mainly through road and railways, has decided to take recourse to movement of food grains through sea route also, the statement added.
The decision to take the sea route has been taken to reduce the bottlenecks and stress experienced in the inland transportation of food grains and also it would be cheaper and easier in the long run.
In future, FCI will explored more ports in Kerala and other parts of the country and could take recourse to the sea route for transportation of food grains from one part of the country to another, it added.
Traditionally, Kerala receives boiled rice from Andhra Pradesh to the extent of 70,000-80,000 tonnes per month.