MORE the foodgrain, less the space to store them. Fihding itself in such a piquant situation, the Food Corporation of India (FU), has embarked on an ambitious Rs 10 billion project to suitably store the large quantity of foodgrains that it finds itself saddled with. The current stock of both wheat and rice grains with FC1 is about 35 million tonnes (mt) when it was 14 mt only three years ago. Predictions are that foodgrain production is likely to soar in the coming years leading to acute storage problems.
Vaccum process storage' (vps) is the modem storage system aimed at by the Fci and this involves the storage of as much as six mt of foodgrain in a single Pvc container. Once the containers are fified with grain, air is instantly sucked out of them, leaving them vacuumised. According to Prabhat Kumar, chairperson, FC1, the containers can be stacked in open spaces without the fear of the grain getting spoiled or infected with fungus in the absence of air. Also they will not discolour and stay thus even when stored for more than three to four years.
The vps is now undergoing a feasibility study by the National Industrial Development Corporation to check its suitability in Indian conditions and the report is expected to be ready by the end of November.