India to have move food preservation chains

New Delhi, Aug. 8 (ANI): The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the implementation of the scheme of integrated cold chain, value addition and preservation infrastructure during the 12th Five Year Plan with an overall plan allocation of Rs. 786 crore.

This allocation includes Rs.460 crore for 75 new projects as per the existing pattern of assistance of the scheme. These 75 projects will be in addition to 63 projects sanctioned during 11th Plan.

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing the scheme for cold chain, value addition and preservation infrastructure which aims to provide for integrated cold chain and preservation facilities without any break, from the farm gate to the consumer.

The scheme is designed to link farms to markets through an efficient supply chain. The scheme provides for the creation of farm proximate infrastructure in the form of minimal processing centres. These centres will have facilities for weighing, sorting, grading, waxing, cleaning, controlled atmosphere, cold storage, deep freezing, IQF, mobile cooling units etc.

The scheme also aims at promotion of irradiation technology for longer and safe storage of the agricultural produce.

Under the scheme, an entrepreneur is eligible for grant-in-aid up to 50 percent of the cost of plant, machinery and technical civil works in general areas. Entrepreneurs are also eligible for grant-in-aid up to 75 percent in North East and hilly areas subjected to a maximum of Rs. 10 crore.

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries has so far sanctioned 63 projects. Implementation of these projects will create an additional capacity of 2.63 lakh MT of cold storage, CA/MA, Deep Freezer capacity, 314 reefer vehicles, 43.2 MT per hour of individual quick freezing capacity and 81.1 lakh litres per day of milk.

The total project cost of the 63 projects is Rs. 1391.96 crore which involves Government grant of Rs. 480.16 crore and private investment of Rs. 910.90 crore.

The Government has also announced major fiscal incentives during last three years to enhance investment in cold chain sector. Cold chain projects are eligible for external commercial borrowing. Custom duty relief has also been provided by according project import status.

India is a leading producer of fruits and vegetables, milk, meat, marine products and many other agricultural commodities in the world. The extent of wastage of perishable products have been estimated in the range from 6-18 percent due to lack of post-harvest infrastructural facilities.

With a view to reduce the wastage, enhance shelf-life, value addition and employment generation, cold chain infrastructure has been identified as a thrust area. (ANI)

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