20 January 2023, New Delhi: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, along with PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PHDCCI) in association with the National Centre for Cold Chain Development (NCCD) as a knowledge partner, organized a one-day exhibition and conference as “India Cold Chain Conclave” in New Delhi.
The conference was organized to bring together all the stakeholders on one common platform where they can contribute thoughts and ideas for the growth of the industry in a sustainable manner and explore ways of reducing post-harvest losses with relevant technologies. An exhibition was also organized concurrently to demonstrate Innovations and Excellence in Cold Chain Sector by industry leaders.
The Conclave and exhibition was inaugurated by Mr. Manoj Ahuja, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. He said that the Ministry of Agriculture recognizes the importance of the cold chain industry in ensuring food safety, reducing food waste, and increasing the shelf life of perishable productsand the ministry has set up an extensive outlay of policies and programs to give strength to this sector.
Technological innovation is crucial for the growth and development of the Indian Cold Chain industry. With the advent of advanced refrigeration and cooling systems, the industry is now able to store and transport goods at much lower temperatures, which helps to extend the shelf life of perishable products. This has led to an increase in the export of perishable goods from India, as the products can now reach international markets in better condition.
During the Conclave, approval of the product-specific horticulture clusters in various parts of the country under the Horticulture Cluster Development Programme of MoA&FW was accorded. On this occasion, Mr. Ahuja handed over the letter of acceptance to the five Cluster Development Agencies and Implementing Agencies for respective Clusters viz. Apple in Shopian (J&K), Banana in Ananthapur (Andhra Pradesh), Grape in Nasik (Maharashtra), Mango in Mahbubnagar (Telangana), and Turmeric in West Jaintia Hills (Meghalaya), out of 12 selected clusters for the pilot phase.
The respective Implementing Agencies include FIL Industries Pvt. Ltd., Desai Agrifoods Pvt.Ltd., Sahayadri Farms Post-Harvest Care Limited, Prasad Seeds Pvt. Ltd. and Meghalaya Basin Management Agency through their Cluster Development Agencies namely JK HPMC, Andhra Pradesh Horticulture Development Agency, Maharashtra State Horticulture and Medicinal Board, Telangana State Horticulture Development Corporation Limited and Meghalaya State Agricultural Marketing Board. It was also announced that the applications for 7 other pilot clusters namely Mango for Kutch and Lucknow, Pomegranate for Solapur & Chitradurga, Banana for Theni, Apple for Kinnaur, and Pineapple for Sepahijala are under process.
Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary (DA&FW) said that the Indian Cold Chain industry is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years. The increasing demand for perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables, and meat products, as well as the rise in e-commerce and online grocery sales, are driving this growth. As the demand for these goods continues to grow in India, the government recognizes the need to support the development of the cold chain industry to ensure food security and public health.
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