New Cold Chain Policy to address industry issues
Speaking at PHD Chamber’s Conference on Financing of Cold Chain in New Delhi, Sanjeev Chopra, Joint Secretary & Mission Director, National Horticulture Mission, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India informed that within ensuing three months, the Go
According to Chopra, there is a huge requirement of cold chain infrastructure to maintain the quality of agro-based products and pharmaceuticals. The government has accepted major recommendations of the National Centre for Cold Chain Development ( NCCD), which has been constituted by the government as well as industry representatives.
Chopra emphasised on the financing of the cold chain industry and appealed the banking sector to introduce different models in this sector. He also maintained that cold chain operators also will have to think about a viable financial model for benefits. “Focus on high-value products like certain fruits and vegetables. There is huge domestic market for quality products. Only viable commercial projects should be the prime agenda,” he advised.
Chaudhuri maintained that apart from quality fruits and vegetables there is a good market for fish and meat both in domestic and international market. “Government will provide all kind of support top make the cold chain industry robust,” he assured.
The conference was also addressed by Suman Jyoti Khaitan, President, PHD Chamber; RS Bedi, Chairman, Task Force on Logistics Management, PHD Chamber; Saumitra Chaudhuri, Member Planning Commission, Government of India;
Pawanexh Kohli, Chief Advisor, NCCD; Rakesh Gupta, GM, Punjab National Bank;
Amit Bhatnagar, VP and Regional HeadNorth, Agriculture Finance Business, Kotak Mahindra Bank; Ravindra Sahni, Assistant Vice President and NSM-Rural Initiatives, HDFC Bank; Vinod Asthana, MD, CRWC;
Pankaj Kumar, Director, Ministry of Food Processing Industries; P Alli Rani, Director ( Finance), Concor and CEO, Fresh and Healthy Enterprise; PN Shukla, Director, Gati and several other industry experts.
He emphatically said that there is a need to go beyond cold storage-centric concept. “Cold chain is not only about cold storage. Think about an integrated and total supply chain (cold) for all perishable and temperature-sensitive products to make the industry beneficial for growers/ manufacturers as well,” said Kohli.
Earlier, Bedi highlighted the industry’s perspective. In his opinion, though there is a huge demand for fresh, quality products, the cold storage facility available in India is only for about 10 per cent of the produce, resulting in post-harvest losses of up to 30 per cent in the farm sector. In 2012, India had approximately 6,300 cold storage facilities, with a capacity of 30.11 million metric tonne. Of the total number of facilities, about 60 per cent are located in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal and Punjab.
India’s cold storage market has a multitude of players, with over 3,500 companies in the value chain. Cold chain solution provider companies constitute 85 per cent of the market, while transportation services, such as refrigerated trucks account for the remaining 15 per cent.
“In 2010, for the transportation of perishable products, there were 250 reefer transport operators running around 25,000 vehicles in India. Of these vehicles, 80 per cent were utilised for milk transportation, leaving only 5,000 vehicles for other produce,” Bedi highlighted.
“Large investments are needed to develop cold chain infrastructure in India and the third-party logistic service providers in India do not have the bandwidth to support huge investments into cold chain,” he pointed out.
Speakers and dignitaries at the PHD Chamber’s Conference on Financing of Cold Chain in new Delhi.