FCI marks its 60th anniversary, with Union Minister Piyush Goyal praising India’s food self-sufficiency as a remarkable achievement in human history. On January 14, 2024, Goyal emphasized the FCI’s crucial role in preventing hunger for every citizen in the world’s most populous country.
The Crucial Role of FCI in Food Security
Minister Goyal underscored the need for the FCI to maintain transparency in its operations and embrace digital technologies for enhanced efficiency and quality. He urged the organization to explore avenues to manage expenses effectively, acknowledging the vital role it plays in maintaining India’s food security.
FCI’s Procurement Process: Ensuring Food Self-Sufficiency
The FCI, a statutory organization responsible for managing the government’s granaries, has been instrumental in achieving food self-sufficiency. Through its procurement process at federally fixed minimum support prices (MSP), it buys millions of tonnes of farm produce from Indian farmers, preventing distress sales. This food is then distributed free of cost to 800 million impoverished citizens under the National Food Security Act.
Modernization Efforts: A Glimpse into the Future
Recognizing the historical significance of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in establishing the federal food agency, Minister Goyal highlighted the ongoing modernization efforts of the FCI. These include the implementation of automated weighing bridges, closed-circuit cameras, and mechanized loading of freight to enhance operational efficiency.
Honoring Past Directors and Sportspersons
During the anniversary celebration, Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra and FCI’s Chairman-cum-Managing Director Ashok K Meena presented mementoes to past directors and accomplished sportspersons employed by the agency. These individuals have brought global fame to the FCI, receiving accolades such as Olympic medals and Arjuna Awards, India’s highest sports honor.
FCI’s Role in India’s Development Journey
Minister Goyal emphasized the critical role of the FCI in India’s development journey, stating that there is “no place for complacency.” He highlighted the agency’s contribution to strengthening every child through food security by purchasing food from farmers and distributing it to the less privileged.
Market Interventions and Economic Stability
The FCI’s market interventions, wherein it sells grains to bulk buyers, have played a vital role in lowering inflation and stabilizing supplies. Despite the current export ban on onions, the FCI continues to purchase them at fair prices, balancing the interests of consumers and farmers.
Fiscal Year 2022-23: Procurement and Contribution
In the fiscal year 2022-23, the FCI procured 76.56 million tonnes of paddy and 26.2 million tonnes of wheat from approximately 12.3 million cultivators. This amounted to a total payout of ₹2.19 lakh crore, contributing to the government’s food subsidy bill.
Embracing Technology for Transparency
The agency’s commitment to modernization extends to countrywide operations, where it has introduced artificial intelligence-based equipment to detect fraud in processes involving millions of farmers and a vast network of transporters and silos. These advancements underscore the FCI’s dedication to ensuring efficiency, transparency, and continued success in its mission to nourish the nation.
Important Questions Related to Exams
1. When was the Food Corporation of India established ?
a) January 14, 1965
b) March 27, 1968
c) September 5, 1972
d) December 22, 1960
2. Which former Prime Minister is credited for establishing the Food Corporation of India?
a) Jawaharlal Nehru
b) Indira Gandhi
c) Lal Bahadur Shastri
d) Atal Bihari Vajpayee
3. What modernization efforts has the FCI undertaken to enhance operational efficiency?
a) Expansion of Tourism Initiatives
b) Implementation of Automated Weighing Bridges
c) Space Exploration Projects
d) Development of Educational Programs
Kindly share your responses in the comment section.