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Global Grain & Feed Forum: India Needs More Silos

01 July 2014

INDIA - With millions of tonnes of food grains wasted every year and 1.25 billion people to feed, India needs to set up more silos to cut down wastage, writes Jagdish Kumar for TheCropSite.

Currently, India produces 260 million tonnes of food grains and to store this it has only 3 million tonnes capacity of silos in the country, Naveen Sareen of US-based GSI Grain Systems told Jagdish Kumar at the sidelines of Global Grain & Feed Forum held from 20-21 June.

Of the 260 million tonnes, 105 million tonnes is paddy, 85 million tonnes is wheat, soy and corn accounts for 45 million tonnes to 50 million tonnes and balance are pulses and others, he said.

Of the grains produced in India, only three million tonnes of grains are kept in silos, and the balance are kept in go-downs and bags. India needs to make huge investments in setting up silos in the country and that needs to be done at the earliest opportunity, Sareen said.

There is huge opportunity for investors and as the government is investor friendly, we should not lose this opportunity, Sareen stressed.

We can start with setting up 1 million every year, so that after 20 years we can set a target of 20 per cent of food grains to be stored in silos, Sareen said.

As per an estimate for per metric tonnes, $60 is the construction cost.

Speaking on the benefit of silos, Sareen said, wastage in silos has come down to 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent, whereas in go-downs, it is about three per cent to 10 per cent.

There are few projects but the pace is slow. With 3 million capacity, 650,000 tonnes capacity has been developed by Adani group, spread across seven places in the country, Sareen said while speaking on public private partnerships (PPPs) in setting up silos.

Sareen said to build one million tonnes capacity silos, it takes around two to three years.

As one million tonnes is a huge capacity, we can start with 50,000 tonnes that take about one year to construct, he said.

Galvanised Silo Storage Systems is a proven scientific system for storage of food grains in Europe and America.

Silos are used for storage of grains in bulk for longer periods. These silos are made in galvanised steel and bolted in construction. The main parts of the silos are made in corrugated sheets instead of plain sheets. The strength of the sheet is increased due to corrugation. The installation of silos at a site is much faster due to its bolted in construction.


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