India needs robust cold chain supply system to increase farmers’ income, say experts
New Delhi: The government is looking for solutions for preventing physical waste and loss of value of perishable agricultural commodities, according to agriculture experts.
A robust cold chain supply system can increase farmers’ income manifold, experts say. In a bid to understand and develop a roadmap for creating a robust food value chain, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with the ministry of food processing industries, ministry of agriculture, and National Center for Cold Chain Development (NCCD) organized the 7th National Cold Chain Summit on Monday.
“India’s greatest need is for an effective cold chain solution that will integrate the supply chains for agricultural commodities from their respective production centers to consumption centers, thereby reducing physical waste and loss of value of perishable commodities,” said Pawanexh Kohli, chief executive officer and chief advisor, National Centre for Cold Chain Development.
The Indian horticulture supply chain is unorganized as the lack of transportation facilities results in greater reliance on intermediaries. In the process of bringing the produce to the market, losses occur in the quantity and quality of the produce owing to improper infrastructure facilities and poor handling practices followed by the intermediaries.
“There is a need to find solutions for crop specific agriculture logistics and leverage the multi modal system for transportation,” said Ashok Dalwai, chief executive officer, National Rainfed Area Authority, ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare.
Although numerous initiatives have been taken by the government to improve productivity and safeguard farmers, some states despite being the leading producers of horticulture produce are yet to realize the importance of post-harvest management practices and are far behind the income set by the centraL government, the government officials participating in the conference said.
“There is need to protect those who provide food for all. The doubling of farmers’ income is not possible without doubling the sales and doubling market rate of the agricultural produce, and cold chain is a key enabler to make this happen,” said Kohli.