Storage and Warehousing Print


Storage is an important marketing function, which involves holding and preserving goods from the time they are produced until they are needed for consumption.

·         The storage of goods, from the time of production to the time of consumption, ensures a continuous flow of goods in the market.

·         Storage protects the quality of perishable and semi-perishable products from deterioration;

·         Some of the goods e.g., woolen garments, have a seasonal demand. To cope with this demand, production on a continuous basis and storage become necessary;

·         It helps in the stabilization of prices by adjusting demand and supply;

·         Storage is necessary for some period for performance of other marketing functions.

·          Storage provides employment and income through price advantages.


Underground Storage Structures

Underground storage structures are dug out structures similar to a well with sides plastered with cow dung. They may also be lined with stones or sand and cement. They may be circular or rectangular in shape. The capacity varies with the size of the structure.



·         Underground storage structures are safer from threats from various external sources of damage, such as theft, rain or wind.

·         The underground storage space can temporarily be utilized for some other purposes with minor adjustments; and

·         The underground storage structures are easier to fill up owing to the factor of gravity.

Surface storage structures

        Food grains in a ground surface structure can be stored in two ways - bag storage or bulk storage.

      I.  Bag storage

·         Each bag contains a definite quantity, which can be bought, sold or dispatched without difficulty;

·         Bags are easier to load or unload.

·         It is easier to keep separate lots with identification marks on the bags.

·         The bags which are identified as infested on inspection can be removed and treated easily; and

·         The problem of the sweating of grains does not arise because the surface of the bag is exposed to the atmospheres.

II. Bulk or loose storage


·         The exposed peripheral surface area per unit weight of grain is less. Consequently, the danger of damage from external sources is reduced; and

·         Pest infestation is less because of almost airtight conditions in the deeper layers.

·         The government of India has made efforts to promote improved storage facilities at the farm level.

Improved grain storage structures

  I.For small-scale storage

· PAU bin

    This is a galvanized metal iron structure. It s capacity ranges from 1.5 to 15 quintals. Designed by Punjab Agricultural University.

    Pusa bin

    This is a storage structure is made of mud or bricks with a polythene film embedded within the walls.

    Hapur Tekka

    It is a cylindrical rubberised cloth structure supported by bamboo poles on a metal tube base, and has a small hole in the bottom through which grain can be removed.

II. For large scale storage

   CAP Storage (Cover and Plinth)

    It involves the construction of brick pillars to a height of 14" from the ground, with grooves into which wooden crates are fixed for the stacking of bags of food grains. The structure can be fabricated in less than 3 weeks. It is an economical way of storage on a large scale.


    In these structures, the grains in bulk are unloaded on the conveyor belts and, through mechanical operations, are carried to the storage structure. The storage capacity of each of these silos is around 25,000 tonnes.


        Warehouses are scientific storage structures especially constructed for the protection of the quantity and quality of stored products.



Scientific storage

        The product is protected against quantitative and qualitative losses by the use of such methods of preservation as are necessary.


        Warehouses meet the financial needs of the person who stores the product. Nationalized banks advance credit on the security of the warehouse receipt issued for the stored products to the extent of 75 to 80% of their value.

Price Stabilization

        Warehouses help in price stabilization of agricultural commodities by checking the tendency to making post-harvest sales among the farmers.

Market Intelligence

        Warehouses also offer the facility of market information to persons who hold their produce in them.

Working of Warehouses

Acts - The warehouses (Central Warehousing Corporation and State Warehousing Corporations) work under the respective Warehousing Acts passed by the Central or State Govt.

Eligibility - Any person may store notified commodities in a warehouse on agreeing to pay the specified charges.

Warehouse Receipt (Warrant) - This is a receipt/warrant issued by the warehouse manager/owner to the person storing his produce with them. This receipt mentions the name and location of the warehouse, the date of issue, a description of the commodities, including the grade, weight and approximate value of the produce based on the present prices.

Use of Chemicals - The produce accepted at the warehouse is preserved scientifically and protected against rodents, insects and pests and other infestations. Periodical dusting and fumigation are done at the cost of the warehouse in order to preserve the goods.

Financing - The warehouse receipt serves as a collateral security for the purpose of getting credit.

Delivery of produce - The warehouse receipt has to be surrendered to the warehouse owner before the withdrawal of the goods. The holder may take delivery of a part of the total produce stored after paying the storage charges.

Types of warehouse

1. On the basis of Ownership

a.    Private warehouses: These are owned by individuals, large business houses or wholesalers for the storage of their own stocks. They also store the products of others.

b.   Public warehouses: These are the warehouses, which are owned by the govt. and are meant for the storage of goods.

c.    Bonded warehouses: These warehouses are specially constructed at a seaport or an airport and accept imported goods for storage till the payment of customs by the importer of goods. These warehouses are licensed by the govt. for this purpose. The goods stored in this warehouse are bonded goods. Following services are rendered by bonded warehouses:

                              i.            The importer of goods is saved from the botheration of paying customs duty all at one time because he can take delivery of the goods in parts.

                           ii.            The operation necessary for the maintenance of the quality of goods - spraying and dusting, are done regularly.

                        iii.            Entrepot trade (re-export of imported goods) becomes possible.

2.   On the basis of Type of Commodities Stored

a.    General Warehouses: These are ordinary warehouses used for storage of most of food grains, fertilizers, etc.

b.   Special Commodity Warehouses: These are warehouses, which are specially constructed for the storage of specific commodities like cotton, tobacco, wool and petroleum products.

c.    Refrigerated Warehouses: These are warehouses in which temperature is maintained as per requirements and are meant for such perishable commodities as vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs and meat.

Warehousing in India

Central warehousing corporation (CWC)

        This corporation was established as a statutory body in New Delhi on 2nd March 1957. The Central Warehousing Corporation provides safe and reliable storage facilities for about 120 agricultural and industrial commodities.


·       To acquire and build godowns and warehouses at suitable places in India.

·       To run warehouses for the storage of agricultural produce, seeds, fertilizers and notified commodities for individuals, co-operatives and other institutions,

·       To act as an agent of the govt. for the purchase, sale, storage and distribution of the above commodities.

·       To arrange facilities for the transport of above commodities.

·       To subscribe to the share capital of state Warehousing corporations and

·       To carry out such other functions as may be prescribed under the Act.

·       The Central Warehousing Corporation is running air-conditioned godowns at Calcutta, Bombay and Delhi, and provides cold storage facilities at Hyderabad.

·       Special storage facilities have been provided by the Central Warehousing Corporation for the preservation of hygroscopic and fragile commodities.

·       The corporation has also evolved techniques for the storage of spices, coffee, seeds and other commodities.

State Warehousing Corporations (SWCs)

        Separate warehousing corporations were also set up in different States of the Indian Union. The areas of operation of the State Warehousing Corporations are centres of district importance. The total share capital of the State Warehousing Corporations is contributed equally by the concerned State Govt. and the Central Warehousing Corporation.

Food Corporation of India

        Apart from CWC and SWCs, the Food Corporation of India has also created storage facilities. The Food Corporation of India is the single largest agency which ahs a capacity of 26.62 million tonnes.

Regulation of Cold Stores
Most of the problems relating to the marketing of fruits and vegetables can be traced to their perishability. Perishability is responsible for high marketing costs, market gluts, price fluctuations and other similar problems. At low temperature, perishability is considerably reduced and the shelf life is increased and thus the importance of cold storage or refrigeration. The first cold store in India was reported to have been established in Calcutta in 1892. However significant progress in the expansion of the cold storage industry in the country has been made only after independence. An ad-hoc survey of the cold stores carried out by the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection in 1955 showed that the total available cold storage in the country was only 77 thousand tonnes. The survey also highlighted the need to regulate the cold storage industry in a planned manner. With a view to ensuring the observance of proper conditions in the cold stores and to providing for development of the industry in a scientific manner, the govt of India and the ministry of agriculture promulgated an order known as "Cold Storage Order, 1964" under Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act,1955. The order is applicable in respect of every cold store with a capacity more than 8.4 cu m. The jurisdiction of this Order extends to the whole of India except West Bengal. Under this order, it is obligatory on every operator of the cold store to obtain a licence from the Licensing Officer before using the installation for storing any food stuffs e.g. fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products. The Agricultural Marketing Advisor to the Govt of India is the Licensing Officer. The directorate of marketing and inspection is enforcing the cold storage order. The field staff posted in the regional and sub offices located in different states regularly inspects the cold stores and offers necessary guidance for better and scientific preservation of foodstuffs. Besides the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection gives general guidance on all technical matters concerning the setting up of cold stores to the intending entrepreneurs.

        The Govt of India constituted a Central Cold Storage Advisory Committee consisting of official and non official members, representing the growers, owners, machinery manufacturers, research organizations etc. The Committee advises the govt on all matters pertaining to the enforcement of Cold Storage Order and the future development of the industry.

Marketing intelligence

 With a view to disseminating the marketing intelligence to the interested parties the directorate of marketing and inspection publishes the following journals:
        1.Agricultural Marketing -- a quarterly journal
        2. Marketing Newsletter         -- a monthly letter
        3. Agmark Statistics                -- yearly
        4. Commodity Intelligence Bulletins for tobacco, wool, bristles, potatoes etc