India is facing 15 million tonnes of cold storage facility gap and needs investment from private sector to overcome it, a top official from Ministry of Food Processing (MFP) said in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

“According to data available with us today, the availability of cold storage capacity is about 25 million tonnes in 2010. The requirement was assessed to be 61 million tonnes,” Siraj Hussain, Secretary, MFP told reporters on the sidelines of a FICCI programme in Hyderabad.

“So there was a gap of 31 million tonnes (in 2010). Since then, we would have added about 10 million tonnes. So the gap is 26 million tonnes.

“But my own assessment says the actual gap is not 26 million tonnes. Because there was a gap in methodology, so the actual gap is about 15 million tonnes,” he added.

“We hope that the success will depend on the investment coming from the private sector without seeking any subsidies. That will be a day when we can say that the chain is perfectly established,” he said.

Mr. Hussain said if the supply chain is perfectly established and if the organised retail sees a good profit in business they will ask others to invest without any subsidies.

Replying to a query, he said the Government of India’s (GoI) position is that there should be no restriction of inter-state movement of natural commodities.

When there is no restriction on industrial goods, then why there should be any restriction on agriculture goods.

Ultimately, it is the farmer who will suffer. GOI has written to state governments also in this regard to enable the farmer to get better price,” he added.

The total exports of agricultural processed food products from India to other countries stood at $ 30 billion last year and it is growing at an average of 20 per cent per annum, he said.

He, however, said the export of commodities depends on international agreements and treaties and 20 per cent may not be always possible.

Meanwhile, ‘Food 360’ a two-day International Conference-cum Exhibition on Agri-business and Food Processing, organised by FICCI and Andhra Pradesh government, began in Hyderabad on Wednesday.