Cost will be Tk 693 cr to ensure food security
Mahfuz Emran: The government is going to construct 196 more warehouses for storage of foodgrains targeting to ensure buffer food stock for the population of the country.
Bangladesh is one of the most populous and risky countries in the world due to climate change. Although the population is 160 million, the state of Bangladesh is moving forward on the path of development with this population. The government is working to ensure adequate food supply and nutrition to this huge population. As part of this, food grains like paddy, rice and wheat are being collected and stored and later distributed at the required time.
At present, food is being stored in six silos, 12 CSDs (Central Food Warehouses) and 635 LSDs (Regional Food Warehouses) under the Food Department of the Ministry of Food. The total capacity of food grains in these warehouses is 21.8 million metric tons. Thinking of future needs, the government is working to increase this capacity to 36 lakhs metric tons. That is why 196 more food godowns have been constructed. These godowns will be constructed in 126 upazilas and city corporation areas of 53 districts of Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Mymensingh, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur and Barisal divisions. By constructing these warehouses, the government will reach the target of food storage capacity by the year 2025.
For this, a project has been taken to build new food warehouses and ancillary facilities in different strategic places of the country. The project will be implemented by the Food Department from January 2022 to December 2024. The total proposed cost of the project is Tk 692.65 crore.
Under the project, besides construction of 196 food warehouses, 625 CCTV cameras, collection of Danez for storage of food grains and 50 moisture stabilizers will be installed in the warehouses. Besides, 10 vehicles will also be collected.
Food department officials say the project is being taken up for various reasons. The objectives of the project are to ensure fair price of food grains produced by farmers, increase storage capacity to 3.6 million by constructing new warehouses, timely delivery of food grains to the people through various channels of social security enclosure (OMS, VGD, food friendly program) and above all ensuring sustainable food security.
As a result of construction of new food warehouses, it will be possible to expand the social safety net, make it effective and reliable. Collection, storage and distribution management of food grains will be facilitated. In addition, during floods, cyclones, earthquakes and tidal surges, it will be quicker and easier to provide food aid to the coastal people of the country.
Officials hope that the construction of new warehouses will not only increase the storage capacity of food grains, but also increase government revenue by renting warehouses if necessary.
FM Mizanur Rahman, director (inspection, development and technical services department) of the food department, told that the warehouse would be constructed to increase food storage and storage. The project is in the early stages. As a result, food demand can be managed. Food grain storage capacity will increase across the country. If warehouses increase, farmers will be able to sell paddy directly here. Along with the government, the farmers will also benefit.
Regarding the construction of warehouses, former food secretary Abdul Latif Mandal told that food security must be increased. Food security will not be ensured unless storage capacity is increased. The population is constantly growing, so our demand is increasing. Food warehousing is essential for greater food security. Various types of natural disasters, including cyclones, hit coastal areas. At that time stored food is most needed. If food capacity can be increased, it will be possible to deal with such problems.
He said the government had taken the Food Friendly Program (FFP) to ensure minimum food security for the poor and low-income people in the current Corona situation, which was undoubtedly commendable. Through the Food Friendly Program (FFP), 5 million poor families have been provided 30 kg of rice (five months) at a cost of Tk 10 per month. As a result, minimum food security has been ensured for two crore people (four members in each family).
Noting that such programs may be needed again to ensure minimum food security for the poor, the former food secretary said that there is no alternative to increasing food security in order to implement such programs. In this case, construction of new food warehouse is undoubtedly a good step of the government.
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