India short by 10 million tonnes cold storage facility: Assocham

The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), highest body of the Chambers of Commerce of India (CCI), providing a forum for dialogue between business and government said in its report “Food Processing and Agri Business” that the country is short by 10 million tonnes of cold storage capacity due to which about 30- 40% of agricultural produce goes waste every year. The report is jointly prepared by Assocham and international advisory company – KPMG.

According to Assocham’s latest study report, against a requirement of over 31 million tonnes of cold storage, India has a capacity of nearly 21.7 million tonnes, leading to a loss of about 40% of the agri-produce post harvest.

About the new study on cold storages S Jindal, president – Assocham, said, “Cold storage facilities now available are mostly for single commodity like potato, orange, apple, grapes, pomegranate and flowers, resulting in poor capacity utilisation. Long and fragmented supply chain in India along with inefficiencies lead to huge losses due to wastage or shrinkage of perishable commodities.”

The industry body has also asked the government to build new cold chain infrastructure to increase its storage capacity.

At present, the Indian cold chain market is worth $2.6 billion. This market is expected to grow to $12.4 billion by 2015. Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have 65% of the total installed capacity of cold storage in the country. Cold chains are used primarily for fruits and vegetables, meat and marine products, floriculture, dairy products, ice creams and confectionery.

Further, the report said that entire supply chain in the country is dominated by unorganised players with several intermediaries adding to wastage from farm to consumer via retailer, processor or exporter. In a long supply chain, one level is unaware of requirements of next level, leading to disconnection between farmer and processor. Secondly, absence of any structured market hampers discovery of correct price and availability of consistent quality of produce.

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