Centre plans modern cold storage facility in Paradip

Bhubaneswar: Announcing the Centre’s plan to build a modern cold storage in Odisha’s port town of Paradip,Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said it will facilitate export of farm produce as well as ensure their safe storage.

“Lack of cold storage has emerged as a major problem for farmers in Odisha. It is essential to address the worries of the peasants at the earliest,” Pradhan said at a function held at the National Rice Research Institute (NRRI) in Cuttack.

Though the farmers were producing a wide variety of agriculture items, the state lacks adequate number of cold storages for storage of the perishables, he said adding only 27 of the 108 cold storage in the state are functional.

Noting that only five of these cold storages are in the government sector, the Union Minister said though the state government has been sending many proposals and demands through letters to the Centre, there has been no concrete proposal relating to cold storage facilities.

Pradhan said if the state government sends proposals in this regard, he would take up the matter with the ministry concerned and try to get the work done.

A public sector enterprise under the petroleum ministry has been directed to conduct a survey, Pradhan said.

“The Petroleum Ministry is planning to construct a huge cold storage in Paradip. It will ensure safe storage of agriculture produces, besides facilitating export of the commodities,” he said.

Voicing concern over reports about dairy farmers in Odisha throwing away milk, he said this was not a good sign in a state, hit by malnutrition and poverty.

Recalling that the Prime Minister had recently visited the gulf region, the Minister said these countries showed keen interest in farm produces from India.

While Arab countries were producing huge quantities of oil, Indian farmers were producing many other products, mainly paddy.

Stating that Arab countries were keen to import high quality rice from India, Pradhan said the scientists of NRRI should develop high quality rice which can meet the requirement.

Claiming that NRRI had been neglected for many years, Pradhan said the prestigious institute has seen tremendous transformation during the Narendra Modi government which was giving proper attention for its development.