Centre okays centre for cold chain development

New Delhi:The government today approved setting up of a national centre for cold chain development and allocated a one-time grant of Rs 25 crore for its corpus fund. The decision comes in the wake of post harvest losses to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore annually in absence of proper storage facilities.

"The Union Cabinet today gave its ex-post facto approval for registering National Centre for Cold Chain Development (NCCD) as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 with its Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations," an official statement said. It also approved a sum of Rs 25 crore as one time grant for setting up a corpus fund for NCCD, it added.

The centre will be run by a 22-member governing council under the chairmanship of a secretary. The members will comprise various government officials, representative from industry bodies like CII, FICCI and stakeholders like growers, cold chain equipment manufacturers, etc, it said.

India, the world`s second largest producer of horticulture products, accounts for 71.5 million tonnes (MT) of fruits, 133.7 MT of vegetables and 17.8 MT of other commodities like flowers, spices, coconut, cashew, mushroom, honey, etc. However, a significant portion of the produce like fruits, vegetables, flowers goes waste due to post harvest losses in absence of proper cold storage facilities.

A Parliamentary panel has also pointed out that post harvest losses of fruits and vegetables are as high as 35 per cent, valuing more than Rs 50,000 crore annually. Earlier the government had constituted a Task Force on cold chain development to assess the situation. The Task Force had recommended formation of a dedicated institution for promoting cold chain development.

}