Cold Chain for Com­mon Users

Cargo Talk - - Editorial -

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by Technopak, a lead­ing con­sult­ing firm, In­dia’s food in­dus­try, which is cur­rently es­ti­mated to be at ap­prox­i­mately USD 100 bil­lion will grow to USD 300 bil­lion by 2015. In­dus­try ex­perts say to­tal vol­umes of fruit and veg­etable cargo flown out of In­dia stand at around 70,000 tonne a year. In­dia’s fresh meat ex­port is es­ti­mated to be at around 30,000 tonne a year. Vol­ume of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and life science prod­ucts flown out of In­dia is to be around 50,000 tonne a year. In­dian phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ex­ports have been set at $25 bil­lion by 2014. For the pe­riod end­ing March 31, 2013, ex­ports were pro­jected to grow by 25 per cent to around ` 75,000 crore. How­ever, ship­pers in In­dia of­ten face huge chal­lenges ow­ing to lack of ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture ie an in­te­grated cold chain sys­tem. Analysing the de­mand side, some re­cent stud­ies per­tain­ing to the re­quire­ment of cold chain un­veiled that the to­tal value of the cold chain in­dus­try would be around USD 3 bil­lion and it would grow at 20-25 per cent a year. The to­tal value is ex­pected to reach USD 8 bil­lion by 2015 through in­creased in­vest­ments, mod­erni­sa­tion of ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties, and es­tab­lish­ment of new ven­tures via pri­vate and govern­ment part­ner­ships. Mean­while, the Govern­ment has taken some ini­tia­tives to re­duce post har­vest wastage for the greater in­ter­est of the coun­try. The Fi­nance Min­is­ter in his bud­get speech for 2012-13 pro­posed to ear­mark ` 5,000 crore for cre­at­ing ware­hous­ing fa­cil­i­ties (in­clud­ing cold stor­ages) from the al­lo­ca­tion un­der RIDF. More­over, dur­ing 2011-12, there was pro­vi­sion of ` 2,000 crore un­der RIDF VII for the first time. In 2012 the Govern­ment of In­dia es­tab­lished National Cen­tre for Cold-chain De­vel­op­ment (NCCD) as an au­ton­o­mous cen­tre to work in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with in­dus­try and other stake hold­ers. The ob­jec­tive was to pro­mote and de­velop in­te­grated cold chain in In­dia for per­ish­able F&V and other per­ish­able al­lied agri-com­modi­ties. The ob­jec­tives of the cen­tre are also to rec­om­mend stan­dards and pro­to­cols for cold chain in­fra­struc­ture, sug­gest guide­lines for hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment and to rec­om­mend ap­pro­pri­ate pol­icy-frame­work for de­vel­op­ment of cold chain in as­so­ci­a­tion with the in­dus­try stake­hold­ers. How­ever, the need is to in­ten­sify the govern­ment ef­forts with a time- bound man­ner. It should also take se­ri­ous ef­forts to en­gage not only the grow­ers and ex­porters but also ser­vice providers (read third party lo­gis­tics ser­vice providers), who have do­main knowl­edge and ea­ger to in­vest in cold chain in­fra­struc­ture. A broad out­look with a goal of cre­at­ing fa­cil­i­ties for com­mon users only can guar­an­tee a strong and un­in­ter­rupted cold chain sys­tem in In­dia.

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