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NCCD report highlights missing links in agri-logistics

A recent report by NCCD highlights the missing links in agri-logistics and cold chain sector

India has a gap of 3.28 million tonnes of cold storage space. The country has so far built 31.82 million tonnes capacity. The country needs 34.16 million tonnes of storage capacity. These figures were revealed in a recent study.

The study, All India Cold-chain Infrastructure Capacity (Assessment of Status & Gap) was conducted by the NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS) for National Centre for Cold Chain Development (NCCD), provides assessments for future policy development and intervention for the cold-chain sector in India.

The study says that the country requires 70,080 pack-houses while it has only 249, a gap of 69,831. Similarly, the agrarian country requires 61,826 reefer vehicle. But, it has only 9,000 reefer vehicles, a shortfall of 52, 826. Besides, there is a shortage of 8,319 ripening centres while India has only 812 of them.

Releasing the study, Sanjeev Balayan, Minister of State for Agriculture said “The cold-chain sector is part of India’s second green revolution and high value products such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry and dairy are critically dependent on it.”

This study has underlined the missing links in agri-logistics and will help devise long term plans and policies to improve cold-chain networks. The report highlights that in future, development focus needs to be more on modern pack-houses and refrigerated transport, which are important to initiate the appropriate logistics chain from villages to city centres.

Siraj Hussain, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture said, “This is the first such study that directly correlates the food consumption with source points, making the evaluation more relevant and market linked. This study has demonstrated that cold-chain development needs to address ‘end-to-end’ connectivity from farm-gate to consumers.”

“The study assesses the requirements predominantly for fruits and vegetables and other products in the chill, mild-chill and frozen categories of cold-chain. Milk distribution has a well-proven logistics network and as its core logistics needs are different from other solid food products, it was not included in this study,” said Pawanexh Kohli, CEO, NCCD.

The study has also suggested that the additional time gained by using the cold-chain should be used to reach out to concentration of consumers to better use the remaining shelf life. The example of the quick and efficient supply systems developed for milk distribution is highlighted. The document includes key definitions which is the first comprehensive listing of terminology used so as to add clarity to the concept of cold-chain.

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