Nod for 101 cold chain projects

Leveraging ₹3,100 crore investment will boost food processing sector

Updated - March 28, 2017 12:53 am IST

Published - March 27, 2017 10:38 pm IST - New Delhi

HYDERABAD:ANDHRA PRADESH:15/12/2012:Gubba's global standard cold storages display at gubba agro fresh(P) Ltd in Hyderabad on Saturday. ----PHOTO:G_RAMAKRISHNA

HYDERABAD:ANDHRA PRADESH:15/12/2012:Gubba's global standard cold storages display at gubba agro fresh(P) Ltd in Hyderabad on Saturday. ----PHOTO:G_RAMAKRISHNA

The Centre has sanctioned 101 new integrated cold chain projects that will leverage a total investment of ₹3,100 crore for creation of modern infrastructure for the food processing sector, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (FPI) said on Monday.

The projects, which will be developed by companies including Balmer Lawrie, Sterling Agro and Haldiram Snacks, are aimed at doubling farmers’ income, reducing wastage in the agri-supply chain and creating huge employment opportunities.

In May 2015, the Ministry announced the sanctioning of 30 cold chain projects. It also said 50 more similar projects would be announced soon.

The total expected grant-in-aid to be released to these projects is ₹838 crore. The balance funds would come from the private sector, said FPI Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

The 101 new projects – which are for fruits and vegetables (53 projects), dairy (33), fish, meat, marine, poultry, ready-to-eat/ready-to-cook sectors – will create additional capacity of 2.76 lakh MT of cold storage/controlled atmosphere/frozen storage.

Maharashtra cornered the maximum number (21) of the projects followed by Uttar Pradesh (14), Gujarat (12), Andhra Pradesh (eight) and Punjab and Madhya Pradesh (six each).

The scheme of cold chain and value addition infrastructure provides financial assistance of up to ₹10 crore for entrepreneurs. Ms. Badal said about 2.6 lakh farmers would benefit from these projects adding they will also provide employment to 60,000 people.

Citing a CIPHET (Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology) study, Ms.Badal said the total wastage of fruits and vegetables was pegged at ₹92,000 crore on the basis of the wholesale prices of 2014.

The Minister said 4.7 million tonnes of agri and horticulture produce with a value of up to ₹12,000 crore will be processed in these projects and help reduce wastage by 13%.

Cold chain grid

India is one of the largest food producers in the world and the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables yet only 2.2% of our fruits and vegetables are processed, according to a statement from the government.

Existing cold storages are concentrated in a few States and roughly 80% to 90% are used for potatoes, the statement said.

The FPI Ministry is building National Cold Chain Grid in the country so that all food producing hubs are connected to cold storage and processing industries, it added.

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