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India loses billions of dollars of fruit and vegetables due to lack of cold storage

Staff Writer |
Despite India being the world’s second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, about 40 to 50 percent of the total output, valued at $440 billion, ends up being wasted, a study found.

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"India has about 6,300 cold storage facilities with a capacity of 30.11 million tons, which are only able to store about 11 percent of the country's total perishable produce," said DS Rawat, the Assocham Secretary General.

Highlighting that about 60 percent of this capacity was spread across Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Punjab, the Assocham-MRSS India joint study said: "The situation is severe in southern part of India due to the unavailability of cold storage units. This in a climate that is becoming far more hot and humid."

The study estimated that the cold chain market in India valued at $167.24 billion in 2016, was projected to reach $234.49 billion by 2020.

The cold chain market had grown steadily in the last few years and this trend was projected to continue until 2020.

"A shortage of adequate infrastructure, the lack of trained personnel, outdated technology and an inconsistent power supply are other major obstacles in the growth of cold chain infrastructure in India," said Rawat.

He said that the setting up of cold-chain involves higher infrastructure costs.

"Given the expected growth in grocery retail to $847.9 billion by 2020 from $500 billion in 2012, there are some changes expected by the industry as a whole to ensure three significant areas of handling food collection, storage and transportation becomes more cost effective for retailers."


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