New Delhi [India], November 15 (ANI): Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyal on Monday virtually inaugurated the office building, Divisional Office Hubballi in Karnataka and food security museum at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu along with a photo exhibition.
This was done as a part of the ongoing celebrations of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, marking 75 years of India's independence.
As per an official statement from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Goyal during his address congratulated FCI for inauguration of new building of the Divisional Office at Hubballi in Karnataka. He said, "It is a step towards realising PM's vision of creating resilient infrastructure for Food Security. From being a trade centre for cotton to a centre for food security-Hubballi reflects growth of a New India."
He also congratulated all on the inauguration of Food Security museum at Thanjavur, showcasing India's Agri evolution from dependency to self-sufficiency. He said that the Food Security Museum is the first museum in India to depict India's food security story from a "ship to mouth" existence to becoming one of the largest food grain exporting nations. He said that the Cultural Capital of Tamil Nadu will now be home to the Agricultural history of India.
Goyal said that under PM Modi, the aim of the Centre Government has been to enable farmers to feed India & the world and earn good livelihood. He said from highest procurement to delivery of foodgrains, PM's commitment towards farmers, migrant workers is an inspiration. He said when the pandemic struck, PM Modi's first thought was to ensure well-being of poor and migrant brothers & sisters. He thanked FCI for its dedication & effort in food distribution to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries at an expenditure of Rs. 2 lakh cr under PMGKAY, ensuring 'no poor person sleeps hungry'. Every beneficiary was given 5 kg of rice/wheat and 1 kg of pulses/ month.
"I thank PM Modi for his commitment, the whole country is indebted to PM for his support during such a challenging time. The buzzword of 'Food Security', has attracted the attention of every nation in the world. 'Food Security' is synonymous to 'Farmer Security'. With 'Farmer Security' comes 'Consumer Security'. The Centre has taken reformative steps which has seen into highest procurement of foodgrains from farmers at MSP. KMS 2021-22 commenced recently and benefitted 3.7 lakh farmers with MSP value of Rs 11,100 cr. India with its resilience, capability and capacity has emerged as a trusted partner to the world," he said.
He said that the Government's commitment towards the Food Security of People of India has been unparalleled which has resulted into highest procurement of foodgrains from farmers at Minimum Support Prices. The procurement has also been extended to other states like Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand where farmers did not get the benefit of MSP procurement earlier. Prime Minister's commitment to farmer's welfare and their income augmentation have also been unparalleled and we have ensured that the benefit of MSP is directly paid into their bank accounts for the sale of their foodgrain produced to the Govt. Agencies. He said he really appreciate the efforts of FCI and other State Agencies who have made tremendous efforts in making this vision of Prime Minister into a great success.
In order to augment the infrastructure required for ensuring Food Security, the Government's vision to create adequate storage for foodgrains has resulted into creation of scientific godowns and modern storage silos. It is an ongoing process for which the agencies like FCI and CWC along with the help of State Govts' storage agencies have been able to create 69 LMT extra storage by effectively utilizing the covered storage space. Besides, the Govt. is also creating modern storage silos in the hub and spoke model for 108 LMT across the country.
The Govt's efforts to safeguard the Food Security needs of every citizen in the country has been unprecedented as the Prime Minister ensured that no person goes hungry during pandemic time. For this purpose, all the agencies under the Department of Food and Public Distribution has been working tirelessly. FCI and Railways have transported record foodgrains in every nook and corner of the country and we have issued 180.83 LMT of foodgrains under PMGKAY free of cost to all the needy people ever since the pandemic started over and above the foodgrain distributed under NFSA.
"Apart from working on various aspects of Food Security maintenance in our country, I am happy to note that they are equally indulgent in reaching out to people and making them known among stakeholders through various events, most notable being the celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav," he remarked.
He conveyed greetings on the auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritiya and also stressed that Prime Minister has declared 15th November as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas dedicated to the memory of brave tribal freedom fighters so that coming generations could know about their sacrifices about the country. He said that, today is the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda, who in Jharkhand is considered as God.
Talking about the efforts of the Centre towards welfare of tribal communities he said that in last 7 years, 472 Eklavya Schools were sanctioned for tribal children. Budget for scholarships have also been doubled. Besides SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act was enacted. At least 10 Tribal Museums are being set up to acknowledge the contributions of tribal brothers and sisters.
Goyal said that the world is talking about the significance of food security. "Thanks to the work of farmers and all of you, we were able to provide food grains to the people of our country and elsewhere in the world," he said.
He added that the National Museum on food Security at Thanjavur is the first such museum in the country that shall go along with in depicting the efforts of all stakeholders of Food Security maintenance. "I am sure all Indians and especially young Indians and children shall be benefited immensely by a visit to this museum," he said.
"Our government has always been sensitive to the infrastructure needs of people working tirelessly in Food Security maintenance. The new building of Divisional Office at Hubballi is a reflection of our commitment and support to FCI," he added.
The Food Museum at Thanjavur will be one of its kind of attraction. The museum is theme-based and shares how food was collected from Mesolothic era to various methodologies of storage and challenges faced by the early man. The Museum also encompasses some key information about Food Corporation of India related to its history, Procurement, Storage and Preservation, Movement and Distribution.
A 3D movie on FCI will be shown in Virtual Reality and quizzes for children. A Life-Size PDS Model is also replicated besides other significant attractions.
The Divisional Office in Hubballi, Karnataka also holds great importance. The state of Karnataka has 5 FCI Divisional Offices including Hubballi which covers 31 revenue districts.
Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Saddhvi Niranjan Jyoti also attended the event. (ANI)