It is well known that the small farmers do not have the economic strength to retain the produce with them till the market prices are favourable. There has been a felt need in the country to provide the farming community with facilities for scientific storage so that wastage and produce deterioration are avoided and also to enable it to meet its credit requirement without being compelled to sell the produce at a time when the prices are low. A network of rural godowns will enable small farmers to enhance their holding capacity in order to sell their produce at remunerative prices and avoid distress sales. Accordingly, Grameen Bhandaran Yojana, a Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme for Construction / Renovation of Rural Godowns was introduced in 2001-2002 and extended upto 31.03.2007. The Scheme has now been approved for implementation during the years 2007–12, with modifications in its operational guidelines for new projects to be sanctioned after 26 /06 /2008. Accordingly, revised operational guidelines of the scheme are applicable for new projects sanctioned on or after 26 /06 /2008 to 31.03.2012.
The main objectives of the scheme include creation of scientific storage capacity with allied facilities in rural areas to meet the requirements of farmers for storing farm produce, processed farm produce and agricultural inputs; promotion of grading, standardization and quality control of agricultural produce to improve their marketability; prevention of distress sale immediately after harvest by providing the facility of pledge financing and marketing credit; strengthen agricultural marketing infrastructure in the country by paving the way for the introduction of a national system of warehouse receipts in respect of agricultural commodities stored in such godowns and to reverse the declining trend of investment in agriculture sector by encouraging private and cooperative sectors to invest in the creation of storage infrastructure in the country. 3. SALIENT FEATURES
Eligible Organizations i) The project for construction of rural godowns can be taken up by individuals, farmers, Group of farmers/growers, Partnership/ Proprietary firms, Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s), Self Help Groups (SHGs), Companies, Corporations, Co-operatives, Local Bodies other than Municipal Corporations, Federations, Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees, Marketing Boards and Agro Processing Corporations in the entire country. Assistance for renovation of rural godowns will, however, be restricted to godowns constructed by cooperatives only.
Location ii) Under the scheme, the entrepreneur will be free to construct godown at any place, as per his/her commercial judgment except for the restriction that it would be outside the limits of Municipal Corporation area. Rural godowns constructed in the Food Parks promoted by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries shall also be eligible under the scheme for assistance. Size iii) Capacity of a godown shall be decided by an entrepreneur. However, subsidy under the scheme shall be restricted to a minimum capacity of 100 tonnes and maximum capacity of 10,000 tonnes. No maximum ceiling on subsidy in the case of projects of rural godowns of Cooperatives assisted by NCDC. iv) Rural godowns of smaller size upto 50 tonnes capacity will also be eligible for subsidy under the scheme as a special case based on viability analysis depending on the topography/special requirement of the State/Region. In hilly areas*, rural godowns of smaller size upto 25 tonnes capacity will also be eligible for subsidy. For this, NABARD will issue appropriate guidelines. *where the project site is located at a height of more than 1000 meters above mean sea level. Conditions for Scientific Storage v) Godowns built under the scheme shall be structurally sound on account of engineering considerations and...