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.

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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”.

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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.

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