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5) Examine the need to give up Cover and Plinth (CAP) structures for storing food grains in India.(250 words)

TopicPublic Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security;

5) Examine the need to give up Cover and Plinth (CAP) structures for storing food grains in India.(250 words)

The hindu


Why this question

Food wastage is a significant problem for India, which follows a distributed public procurement policy. Food is stored in CAP structures which is an unscientific way to store food grains and there is an urgent need to replace these structures with a scientific storage system.

Directive word

Examine- Here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to bring out the reasons as to why there is a need to give up CAP structures for storing food grains in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few lines about public procurement of foodgrains and their storage. E.g India produces about 150 million tonnes of food grains per year. Production has been steadily increasing due to advancement in production technology, but losses have remained static at 10%. This means that the loss of food grains is also increasing with the increase in food production. The main reason for this is improper storage, and an average of 6% out of a total 10% loss takes place during storage of food grains.


  • Discuss in points the problems of CAP structures used for storage of food grains. E.g it causes higher level of food losses and loss of nutritious content; it leads to dampening of foodgrains and leads to development of mycotoxins. Mention the ill effects of mycotoxins on humans; also mention the monsoon season in India which demand damp-proof structures for storage etc.
  • Discuss the need to build more silos in a scientific way; need to build scientific warehouses and also upgrade the cold-chain infrastructure; explore PPP models to build infrastructure.

Conclusion- sum up your discussion in a few lines and, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.