• Thursday, Aug 13, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:50 pm

World Bank to finance $202mn for Bangladesh's food storage capacity

  • Published at 12:28 pm August 2nd, 2020
Food silo
Silos on agro-processing and manufacturing plant Bigstock

Eight public modern grain storage steel silo complexes for rice and wheat will be constructed in eight different districts

The World Bank has approved $202 million additional financing for the Modern Food Storage Facilities Project to increase the storage capacity of Bangladesh’s national strategic grain reserves.

The storage capacity will be increased by 535,500 tons for 4.5 million households. 

On Sunday, the World Bank’s board of executive directors approved the project financing for Bangladesh which is aimed to help the country to address food insecurity in challenging times -- such as frequent climate -- induced disasters or crisis situations like the current Covid-19 pandemic, said the global lender in a statement.

It is supporting the construction of eight public modern grain storage steel silo complexes for rice and wheat in eight different districts, said the World Bank.

On top of current construction work taking place in Ashuganj, Madhupur and Mymensingh, the additional financing will support the construction of rice silos in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Barisal, while wheat silos will be built in Chittagong and Maheshwarpasha, it added.

Meanwhile, the financing will increase the grain reserve available to households to meet their post-disaster needs and improve the efficiency of grain storage management through an online Food Stock and Market Monitoring System (FSMMS).

Benefits of the project

In addition, the project will also create new job opportunities, especially for women, in the operation and management of silos.

“Nearly 80% of Bangladesh’s population lives in rural areas with climate shocks threatening their livelihoods, welfare, and foods security,” said Mohammad Anis, acting World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan. 

“This modern food storage system, combined with an effective distribution system, will help ensure food security after a natural disaster or during a crisis such as the current Covid-19 pandemic.”

The project has already helped to manufacture and distribute 500,000 household air- and water-tight food containers (“household silos”) to poor farmers and women-headed vulnerable households in disaster-prone coastal areas. This success has led the government to commit to further distribute silos to an additional 300,000 households.

“Currently public food distribution and grain reserves have a total effective capacity of about 2 million tons,” said Christian Berger, World Bank team leader for the project.

“Most of these reserves or godowns are in poor condition leading to grain losses in quantity and nutritional value. This project helps improve the efficiency of grain storage management, said Christian.

The project will reduce grain storage and handing losses in public storage facilities by at least 50% and extend the nutritional value of grain for up to two years, instead of the current six months.

The credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which provides concessional financing, has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period.

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