The Centre Sanctions 101 Integrated Cold Chain Projects to Reduce Wastage in Agri-Horticulture Sector

Cold Chain Projects

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The Logistics Headlines, New Dlehi, 28th March :The Centre gives approval to 101 projects (out of 308 applications) for integrated cold chain worth Rs. 3,100 crore of total investment. Out of this amount, Rs. 838 crore will come from the Centre and Rs. 2,262 crore, from private sector. This is a step forward to modernize food processing sector and infrastructure, says the Minister of Food Processing Industries (FPI) Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

Most number of these cold chain projects is to surface in Maharashtra at 21, with 14 in Uttar Pradesh, 12 in Gujarat, and 8 in Andhra Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh and Punjab will get six projects each.

Which Companies will take on the Projects?

The cold chains projects decided, will emerge within 18 to 24 months in order to lower wastage of vegetables and fruits. These cold chains not only will work to improve storages, but also get divided over on-farm grading and sorting to processing and distributing produce until end-consumers, via specially run refer-vans.

These projects will establish on firms such as Sterling Agro, Haldiram Snacks, Balmer Lawrie (logistic firm), Amul, and Big Basket among important others. The aim is to double income of farmers, reduce wastage seen in agri-supply chain, along with creation of greater employment opportunities.

These new integrated cold chain projects will create:

  • 276,000 tonnes of added capacity in frozen and cold storage
  • Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) capacity of 115 tonnes
  • Blast freezing of 210 tonnes
  • Milk processing of 5.6 million liters every day
  • 629 insulated or refrigerated vehicles

Proposals to Reduce Wastage of Agri and Horticulture Produce

Until now, India has more than 5,300 cold chains, but this number is not enough, as the total horticulture production of the nation is just a little above 287 million tones. The CIPHET study indicated that total wastage of vegetables and fruits in 2014 was of Rs. 92,000 crore as grounded on wholesale prices. With the new cold chain project, 4.7 million tonnes of horticulture and agri produce estimated at Rs. 12,000 crore will get processed and lower wastages by at least 13%.

According to Badal, the number of sanctioned cold chain projects have surged to 234, with further plans for sanctioning 50 more cold chain projects by the government.

As wastage is high because of infrastructure shortage in cold chain, new projects to stabilize the sector are essential. Fifty-three of these will be dedicated for vegetables and fruits sector, while 33 for dairy and rest 15 for meat, marine and poultry. The initiative will also generate employment opportunities for about 60,000 people and 260,000 farmers.

How is the Centre helping the Supply Chain of India?

There is an increase in demand relative to what farmers are producing, yet there is wastage in vegetables and fruits. Harsimrat said that India is one of the largest food producers globally and second largest producer of vegetables and fruits, but only 2.2% of vegetables and fruits are processed. In addition, existing cold storages are only concentrated in some of the states, and about 80 to 90 percent of these are utilized for potatoes.

Badal also noted that the Centre is trying to enhance supply chain for processing, marketing starting from farm gate. In 2016, the government had confirmed 100% FDI for marketing food products, which are manufactured and produced in the nation. The government will soon give birth to National Food Grid via the mega-food park and cold chain projects for lowering post-harvest loses and wastage.

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