Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Saturday said FDI in multi-brand retail will cut down post-harvest losses to farmers and bring investment in cold-chain facilities.

“Farmers will gain on at least two counts: significant reduction in post-harvest losses such as loss in transit (of produce) due to non-refrigeration and air conditioning transportation system, and better prices. Consumers will gain from lower prices, greater choice and higher quality,” Mr. Pawar told reporters here.

He said the policy decision will boost investment in cold-chain facilities.

“Post-harvest losses in the country are high. There are losses in the entire supply chain from farm to market. Investment in cold chains is required. More investment to set up such facilities will come with the entry of FDI. This will benefit both farmers and consumers,” the agriculture minister said.

Mr. Pawar is on two-day visit to Sangli and Kolhapur in the western Maharashtra region.