Scheme for Filling gaps in Supply Chain and Strengthening Cold Chain Infrastructure

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries provides financial assistance in the form of grant-in-aid @ 50% of the total cost of plant and machinery and technical civil works in general areas, and @ 75% of the total cost of plant and machinery and technical civil works in difficult areas subject to a maximum of Rs.10.00 crore. The assistance is given under the Scheme for Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure.

The initiatives are aimed at filling the gaps in the supply chain, strengthening of cold chain infrastructure, establishing value addition with infrastructural facilities like sorting, grading, packaging and processing for horticulture including organic produce, marine, dairy, poultry, etc. Other agencies of the Government like National Horticulture Board (NHB), Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) and State Government also provide assistance for cold storages under their respective schemes.

Farmers of the country are storing agricultural produce using different methods including modern storage systems. A study conducted by the National Spot Exchange Ltd. (NSEL) in December, 2010 analyzed production, consumption and shelf life pattern of major fruits and vegetables. The Study has estimated cold storage requirements of 61.13 million tonnes in the country. The present capacity of cold storage has been worked out at 23.51 million MT. The cold storage gap of about 38 million metric tonnes has been worked out on the basis of peak season production and highest arrival/harvesting of storable fruits and vegetables in a month.

There is no proposal of Government to seek assistance from developed countries for latest technology in preserving the agricultural produce. However, as per the prevalent policy technology can be transferred through commercial channels.

This information was given in Rajya Sabha today by Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, Dr. Charan Das Mahant in a written reply.

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