Lucknow, Oct 1 : In a major attempt to save crops from going to waste and increase the income of farmers, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to establish a network of godown and cold storages in every district across the state.
According to the plan, the Primary Co-operative Societies (PACS) will build as many as 2,000 godowns with support from the Centre's Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF).
Besides, construction of godowns and cold storages will be encouraged in every district.
According to a state government spokesman, it will help preserve farmers' produce for longer periods and allow them to sell it as per their convenience with more profit.
In Uttar Pradesh, 15 to 20 per cent of the crops are wasted every year due to the lack of proper storage facilities.
Apart from this, loans will be provided to interested farmers and agricultural institutions for setting up e-marketing platforms, warehouses, silos, pack houses, sorting and grading units in all the districts of the state.
Uttar Pradesh is one of the leading states in agricultural production in the country plagued by poor infrastructure.
When he took office, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, had directed the officials of the Agriculture Department to prepare a foolproof plan to preserve the agricultural produce in the state.
Thus, it was decided that the PACS will be largely funded by the AIF to build 2,000 godowns in the state.
Subsequently, a total of 1500 PACS out of 7,470, agreed to build godowns with the capacity of 100 metric tonnes each at the cost of Rs 20 lakh and sought Rs 60 crore from the Agriculture Department for the purpose.
According to officials, the Agriculture Department has provided Rs 4 lakh to the PACS building warehouses while the remaining 80 per cent of the amount will be taken as loan by the the PACS from the AIF.
Meanwhile, the construction of 400 godowns has already started and is expected to be complete soon.
It will be followed by building of 1,600 godowns.
Under this ambitious scheme, the officers of the Cooperative Department along with farmers and entrepreneurs will also build community agriculture centres to store farmers' produce so that they can sell it at the right time.
A loan of up to Rs 2 crore will be given to the applicants for building big godowns, pack houses and cold storages etc.
There will be a credit guarantee for seven years on the loan.
There will also be a rebate of three per cent on interest per annum.
Apart from the godowns being built by PACS, applications for 197 projects worth Rs 218 crore have been received so far, of which 20 will be approved soon.