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What is Warehousing... ?

Farmers need storages of 1-4 t capacity to store grain. If the storage time is short (2-3 weeks) a flexible PVC sheet covering (30-50 micron size) known as a crop umbrella is used. Sometimes tarpaulins or large canvass sheets are also used to protect the grain, especially at night to avoid the surface layer of the grain becoming moist with dew. However, for 2-3 months storage periods, the bin developed at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) is the most suitable. It is a LDPE (low density polyethylene) sandwiched bin, popularly known as Pusa bin.

It is worthwhile explaining here the detailed construction procedure of the Pusa bin which can be widely adopted not only in India but in several developing nations. Except for the LDPE which is purchased by the farmer, the bin is made with mud. The performance of this bin is similar to any other metal or concrete structure. In fact, because of the good insulation properties of the mud bricks used for construction, the problem of moisture migration during storage is minimal in the Pusa bin. About 9.5 million tonnes of food grain are stored in such bins in India (IPCL 1985).

The rural godowns are primarily meant for providing warehousing facilities to the farmers. The godowns are of 100 to 1000 t capacity. They are owned by FCI, central and state warehousing corporations, market committees, or cooperatives looking to the need for having storage structures or facilities for agricultural produce. The Government of India (GOI) appointed an expert committee (1979-1980) which concluded that there was a need for storage facilities for 2 million tonnes of food grain. The GOI, keeping in view these recommendations, has given a 50% subsidy for the construction of rural godowns. Therefore, godowns are being constructed on a large scale in Indian villages.

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