R 440 bn wasted sans cold stores
Inadequate cold storages and a lack of suitable supply chain infrastructure leads to losses of fresh produce. A mere 2% of the produce is stored in temperature-controlled facilities, resulting in a supply crunch and hiked costs.
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, in a recent conference in the capital, brought to fore the derelict condition of warehouses in the country. A lack of temperature- controlled facilities and the absence of a better-equipped warehousing network leads to an estimated loss of Rs.440 billion annually.
At the Logistics Conclave-2014, organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, APEDA’s Chairman-cum-Secretary, Santosh
Kumar Sarangi said, “Only 2 per cent of fresh fruit and vegetables produced in India-world’ sec-ond largest producer- are stored in the few available temperature-controlled facilities against, 85 per cent of the leading economies in the world. This results in the whopping annual losses of fruit and vegetables”.
India suffers annual losses amounting to ` 440 billion due to inadequate cold storages and suitable supply chain infrastructure including inadequate food processing facilities in the agri sector.
According to Dinesh Rai, Chairman, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority ( WDRA), the government seems in favour of develop- ing and modernising the country’s supply chain. He said, “The government is serious about the growth of the logistics sector which can be gauged from the fact that it has allocated of 5,000 crores in the Budget for 2014-15”.
WDRA, he said, has been advocating to the government for an infrastructure status on the logistics industry, which would elevate its profile and allow it to enjoy certain entitlements from the government.
In the opinion of RS Bedi, Chairman, Task Force on Logistics Management, PHD Chamber, a consensus and integral approach need to be adopted by the Centre as well as the States, to transform the logistics sector i n order to better serve the needs of modern times to enhance its contributions to national GDP.
The Indian cold chain industry, growing at annually 28%, is largely unorganised with most equipment in use being outdated and single- commodity based. A lot of hopes are pinned on the government to br i ng i n reforms to get the i ndustry back on its feet.