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The Systems and Operations of Bangladesh Warehousing Corporation

Warehousing envisages a “two tier” system for achieving the objectives. The warehousing at the villages and community level will be arranged by cooperative under the Integrated Rural Development Programme (I.R.D.P.) department under the Ministry of Local Govt., Rural Development and Co-operatives, while at all other level by Warehousing Corporation.

Operations

Construction of scientific storage structures, grading of commodities, insurance, bank advance, scientific storage and disinfestations are important operations.

Structure : Storage structure is the most important single factor for scientific storage. Agriculture commodities are stored either in bulk or in bags. The godowns are constructed fire proof, with damp proof flooring and walls, with reinforced cement concrete flat roof, air light doors and ventilators with provision of automatic fumigation. Ideal storage units are very few and most of the commodities are stored in defective godowns incurring serious loss. Easily perishable commodities need cold storage, airconditioned or dehumidified structures.

Jute, fertilizers (hygroscopic), chillis, peper, tea, sugar, tobacco, termeric, tamarind, jaggery etc. require specialised storage. Each commodity needs to be stored separately. From insurance angle, non-hazardous, hazardous and extra hazar-dous commodities need storage in separate compartments.

Gradings: All commodities received need compulsory analysis and grading as per national grades by qualified and trai-ned experts in the warehouse laboratory.

Insurance : All commodities accepted for warehousing need compulsorily insured against fire, flood, theft, burglary etc, with insurance company or by a self-indemnification scheme.

Banks and Advance: On the strength of graded stock deposited in the warehouse, the depositor could avail credit if he needs from banks on the strength of “Warehouse Receipt” at a concessional rate of interest.

Dunnage & Stacking Dunnage : Proper dunnage is of great importance to protect the commodities from ground moisture. Wooden crates of 5″ x 2″ size are used to minimise ground moisture absorption.┬áProper stacking in warehouse is very necessary for economic and safe storage. Stacking is done along the stack lines drawn leaving, enough alley-ways and haulage alley-ways, for inspection, areation and preservation.

Preservation: The commodities need be inspected by qualified and trained technical staff and prophylactic and curative disinfestation treatments are given to avoid loss in warehouse. Considerable quantitative and qualitative losses are caused by micro-organisms, storage-insects, mites, rats, birds etc. Timely disinfestation measures need be carried out by latest insectidal dusts, sprays, smoke, fumigats, raticides etc.

Storage Charge : The storage charge levied need be as economically as possible at the initial stages, to popularise. the benefits of warehousing.

Training: There is no College or Institute imparting a comprehensive training in warehousing. Newly recruited qualified personnel need training for 2 months in diversifying subjects like grading, marketing, storage, scientific preservation, principle of Manage-ment, personnel management, publicity and public relations, banking, book-keeping, first aid, etc. Refresher courses are also needed periodically to keep abreast with latest development

Programme and Progress of Construction. Since enacting warehousing legislation as early as in 1959, no warehousing activity could develop till 1967 from Private Sector. The Government. therefore, sponsored two pilot projects for setting up warehouses at Government initiative, exclusively for storage of agricultural produce. In the mean while, warehousing needs were very keenly felt and instead of waiting for the results of the pilot projects, warehousing legislation was passed in 1970. In the First Five Year Plan an allocation of Taka 210 million has been made for building up the warehousing facilities.

The devastating 1972 fire at Daulatpur, Khulna in Jute Godowns led the Govt. to enlarge the scope of warehousing for export, import and other vital national needs also. The Govt. entrusted the responsibility of reconstructing the jute Storage Complex at Daulatpur to Warehousing Corporation and it is completing the construction of 22 jute warehouses by early 1975, out of which 14 warehouses have been completed and made available to Bangladesh jute Corporation, Bangladesh Jute Marketing mid Jute price Stabilization Corporation. It is having a covered space of 3,50,000 sq. ft. for jute export. at a cost of Tk. 29.7 million.

The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh have been facing enormous difficulties for want of warehousing facilities in Chittagong and on request, action is in progress to provide covered storage space of 4,00,000 sq. ft. for mercantile goods.

Out of the projected construction of 50 Jute Warehouses in assembling markets and in border areas during the current financial year. 15 are expected to be completed by February, 1975 and spade work for the rest have already been made. Out of 13 Licenced warehouses for Agricultural products, 2 are expected to be ready for operation by February. 19.5 and construction of other 2 have also been taken up.

UN Warehousing Assistance

Production is important, but it is most important to conserve it till it is consumed. A developing country like Bangladesh can ill afford to lose 10- 15% of the nations’s production. Recognizing the magnitude of the warehousing problem the UNDP and FAO have agreed to the request for substantial prolonged technical assistance, in order that necessary technique and know-how for a scientific storage of commodities and efficient operation of field warehouses can be imparted to the personnels of the corporation. A Project Manager (Warehousing Adviser) has already joined and soon a team of experts in Warehouses Designing and another in Scientific Storage. will he joining to strengthen the Corporation and for programming for a bigger Technical Assistance project to cover the whole programme.

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