20-03-2017 12:05 PM
Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream      50
The government will allot 100 cold chain projects today in a bid to cut wastage of fruits, vegetables and perishables and ensure better remuneration for farmers.
The Centre has taken a very good initiative to reduce the wastage of fruits, vegetables and perishables by allotting 100 cold chains today. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, minister for food processing industries said that they had received around 350 applications out of which 100 will be chosen for the allotment.
These cold chains which will be spread across 20 states will provide preservation facilities without any break from the farm gate to the consumer. Due to the cold storage, commodities will be preserved thereby reducing wastage and will help to fight price hikes at times of shortages.
Badal is of the opinion that setting up of a grid would help in better monitoring of the scheme. Last year, there were 30 cold chains which had 4 million tonnes capacity, but there is a shortfall of 29 million tonnes. Setting up 100 cold chains will cover another 10-12 million tonnes.
According to a 2010 study, almost Rs 44,000 crore worth of perishables are wasted. Therefore, the government has come up with these cold chains project. It will provide Rs 10 crore as subsidy to each project and the promoter has to invest in infrastructure and provide details of farmer groups that he intends to work with.
Stressing that there should be zero tolerance towards wastage, Badal said that the development of the cold chain grid would help the government's SAMPADA (Agro-Marine Produce Processing and Development of Agro-clusters) scheme and will give a boost to food processing. This project will be extremely useful as several countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Japan have shown interest to import fruits and vegetables from India.