The Indian government will allot 100 cold chain projects on Monday as it moves to create a national grid to cut wastage of fruits, vegetables and perishables and ensure better remuneration for farmers.
"We received almost 350 applications and we will announce the names of 100 who have been allotted the cold chains. There are many players both large and small," Harsimrat Kaur Badal, minister for food processing industries, told Times of India.
These chains will be spread across 20 states. The objective is to provide integrated cold chain and preservation facilities without any break from the farm gate to the consumer. The government has embarked on this scheme to cut down on wastage and develop food clusters as well as a tool to fight price hikes at times of shortages.
The government provides Rs 100,000,000 crore as subsidy to each project and the promoter has to invest in infrastructure and provide details of farmer groups that he intends to work with. "Food processing is very low, barely 10%, in India and various steps have been taken in the past nearly three years. Smaller countries like the Philippines and Cambodia do 80% processing. Fruits and perishables processing is only 2%. Almost Rs 44,000 crore worth of fruits and perishable are wasted, according to a 2010 study," Badal said.
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