THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Food Corporation of India( FCI) has said that it was ready to help Kerala which is planning to implement the National Food Security Act (FSA) from November 1.
Addressing a news conference here, FCI Kerala Region general manager J S Syju said here on Saturday that Kerala required 1.20 lakh MT of foodgrains per month to implement the National Food Security Act.
But the state has only 90000 MT of storage facility including that of the wholesale dealers. To tide over this problem, the FCI has offered 93000 MT storage facility for the state in 12 FCI depots.
The depots where storage facility will be provided are Valiyathrua (10000 MT), Kazhakoottam (5000 MT), Karunagapally(5000 MT), Kilikolloor (5000 MT), Mavelikara (5000 MT), Kochi (3000 MT), Angamaly (10,000 MT), Mulankunnathukavu (10,000 MT), Palakkad (10,000 MT),West Hill (10,000 MT), Thikkodi (10000 MT), Payyannur (10000 MT).
Syju said if the state could avail the facility properly, it could effectively implement the FSA.
He said that as on Saturday, October 18, FCI had a stock of 27,9986 MT of rice and 54,016 MT of wheat in its godowns in the state it is sufficient for meeting the demand of Kerala for three months. Syju said the FCI has started bringing the foodgrains through sea route to Kochi port considering the cost effectiveness and easy way to avoid Railways levying demurrage charges, seasonal charge and freight fare hike. It will also reduce the risk of contamination from cement and fertilisers.
He said that the FCI was giving priority in enhancing the storage space in Kerala. A total of 15,000 MT storage space was added in three districts. Besides, new storehouse of 5000 MT at Angadippuram and 20,000 MT at Oorakam near Panakkad are on the anvil.
When completed, these facilities together will ensure sufficient foodgrains required for four months for the state.
To check the foodgrain price in the open market, the Open market Sales Scheme (OMSS)is being implemented effectively. The wholesale dealers of atta, maida and biscuit are procuring the foodgrains under this scheme.
In the last fiscal, 1,40,849 MT of foodgrains was sold at lesser price than the market price under MOSS. This year 82325 tonnes were sold up to September.
He said that under the noon meal scheme of the Central Government, the FCI had distributed 27952 tonnes up to September this year.
He said that in the last ten years there has been sharp increase in the paddy procurement from the state.
Compared to 52378 tonnes in 2004-05, the paddy procurement has increased to 5.35 lakh tonnes in 2013-14.
Compared to 2006-07, there has been 34 percent increase.