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The era of green India
Last year NAFED completed 60 years and at the same time generated a profit of 100 crore. The Managing Director, Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, shares details regarding the implemented strategies and forthcoming ventures with Ramya Palisetty
NAFED has spent about Rs 10,000 crores in procuring pulses and creating a national buffer stock of 20 lakh tonnes. Can you elaborate on the scheme?
After 70 years of Independence, a buffer of 2 million tonnes of pulses was created, out of which 80 per cent was managed by us. In case of milled pulses, they are distributed to the army as well as the paramedic forces. With the approval of the cabinet recently, Nafed will be supplying mill pulses to schools for mid day meals. They will be fortified by adding nutrients like zinc and iron. With high quality standards, this comes as a huge responsibility for the organisation.
What are the various types of food grains Nafed had procured since the time you took over as the Managing Director?
The procurement of Rs 7 lakh tonnes of groundnut in Gujarat has been done for the first time in the history of India. We are buying pulses like Toor dal and oilseeds as well. In rabi crops, we have introduced the procurement of mustard and chana.
How will these schemes benefit the farmers?
In the last few years, there has been a delay in payments to farmers. It takes around five-six weeks for the farmers to receive money once their produce is bought to the counter. But we have created a portal where the farmers are registered and their Aadhar cards are linked to their bank accounts. Once in the system, the farmer receives an SMS and is paid within three-four days. I can access the portal to view state-wise and centre-wise working so as to prevent frauds. No scheme in the country would have made payments of Rs 6,000-7,000 crores digitally — directly to the farmers account. The target was to reduce the time that it takes for the payments and strengthen the market.
What are your plans for Green India?
India has adopted progressive steps as far as climate change is concerned. To reduce the carbon footprint, we have empaneled global companies who have technology. According to this proposition, developed countries transfer their technology and provide funds to the developing countries.With the available green funds in Europe, we are obtaining the best technology. Under the process, the farm residue will be collected by farmers and the organisation will pay Rs 1 per kg based on moisture content. The waste will be converted into coal and bio-CNG using this technology. The coal produced will have no sulphur content and will be green with a calorific value of 5,000 kg. Similarly, 1,000 tonnes of municipal waste is generated everyday. We will convert it into bio-CNG.
Can you explain the process of conversion of biowaste?
We do not have waste management policies in place for the 500 million tonnes of bio waste that is generated in the country. We are planning to compress the waste into bricks with the help of mobile trucks. The technology was developed by a young IITian from Kharagpur who has worked with the US government. Each plant costs around Rs 50 crores. The plan is to set up 500 coal making plants and 50 gas plants within six months. The machine for torrification, which is the main component, is being imported from China.The key is the purification process. For coal, the amount of methane determines the quality. Our aim is to manufacture coal with 99.9 per cent pure methane. Actor Vivek Oberoi is also involved in the project and arranging the necessary funds.
How are you addressing the problem of stubble burning?
In our model, we are planning to collect the stubble and pay the farmers. They will get Rs 2,000 per acre as a bonus. The idea is to bring all the stakeholders in one place. Otherwise, farmers are reluctant to come forward. And the broilers available do not need to be changed and hence no new investment has to be made.
Is the organisation diversifying and branching out into various projects?
Unless we diversify, we cannot survive. We have entered into the seed production business, producing certified seeds. We have not restricted ourselves to the business of buying and selling because if procurement doesn’t happen, then the organisation will be stuck. The first priority of the country is food security. We were also involved with the government in providing relief material for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and export 1.5 tonnes of rice to the country. We also supply rice and other pulses as gifts to various nations.
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