20 Jan 2014

FCI to move foodgrains through ship in coastal areas

Food Corporation of India (FCI)
For the first time in its history, Food Corporation of India (FCI), which has been moving huge quantities of food grains from one part of the country to another mainly through road and railways, has decided to take recourse to movement of food grains through sea route also. 

A beginning in this regard has been made with Prof. K.V. Thomas, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution approving the container movement of 20,000 MTs of rice per month from Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh to Kochi in Kerala through ship.

 Tenders to this effect have been finalised and operations are expected to start in the near future. The first ship carrying the containers is expected to proceed from Kakinada in February, 2014. 

The decision to open sea route has been taken to reduce the bottlenecks and stress experienced in the inland transportation of food grains and also to open up multi-model transportation methodology involving sea route as well which would be cheaper as also easier in the long run. 

In future, it will be explored if more ports in Kerala and other parts of the country could take recourse to the sea route for transportation of food grains from one part of the country to another. 

Traditionally, Kerala receives boiled rice from Andhra Pradesh to the extent of 70000 to 80000 MTs per month. Initially the depots in Southern Kerala such as Kochi, Alleppey, Arakkulam, Mavelikkara, Chingavanam and Anagammally will get the benefit of movement of food grains from Kakinada through Vallarpadam Container Terminal of the Kochi Port. 

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