India is one of the largest food producers in the world and is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables yet only 2.2% of our fruits and vegetables are processed. India requires affordable cold storages and cold chains at every food producing hub in the country. While existing cold storages are concentrated in few states and roughly 80 to 90% are used for potatoes, India has a long way to go. MoFPI is building National Cold Chain Grid in the country so that all food producing hubs are connected to cold storage and processing industries.
Ministry of Food Processing Industries has been constantly involved in setting up new cold chain infrastructure which has both cold storage and processing facilities. The Ministry had announced sanction of 30 Cold Chain Projects in May, 2015. Today Ministry announces sanction of 101 new integrated Cold Chain Projects spread across the country. These projects are for fruits and vegetables, dairy, fish, meat, marine, poultry, ready to eat/ready to cook sectors.
The Ministry is focusing on creating Cold Chain infrastructure by strategic planning which eventually builds Cold Chain Grid in the entire country. This will help in realizing the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister for doubling of farmer’s income. It will also reduce wastage in agri supply chain and will create huge employment opportunities.
The scheme of Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure provides financial assistance up to Rs. 10 crore for entrepreneurs.
These 101 new integrated cold chain projects will leverage total investment of Rs. 3100 crore for creation of modern infrastructure for the food processing sector. The total expected grant-in-aid to be released to these projects is Rs. 838 crore.
The 101 new Cold chain Projects will create additional capacity of 2.76 lakh MT of Cold Storage/Controlled Atmosphere/Frozen Storage, 115 MT per hour of Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) capacity, 56 lakh litres per day of Milk Processing, 210 MT per batch of Blast Freezing and 629 Refrigerated/Insulated vehicles.
These Integrated Cold Chain projects will not only provide a big boost to the growth of food processing infrastructure in the concerned states but also help in providing better prices to farmers and is a step towards doubling of farmers’ income. The infrastructure will also reduce wastage of perishables, add value to the agricultural produce and create huge employment opportunities especially in rural areas.
Creation of above Cold Chain Infrastructure and other necessary infrastructure would go a long way in further expanding and strengthening required food processing infrastructure in the country which shall create short, consistent and compressed supply chains from producers to processors, retailers and exporters and give major boost to fruits and vegetables processing, milk processing and non-horticulture food processing in the country.