Pune, 13 June 2019: Strengthening the country’s cold chain network and making it more market oriented will be a game changer for India’s food processing sector, Dr Pallavi Darade, Commissioner of Food and Drugs Administration, Maharashtra, said here on Thursday. She was addressing, as Chief Guest, the inaugural session of a one-day ‘India Cold Chain Summit’ organised by the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture(MCCIA).
Mr Pradeep Bhargava, President of MCCIA, Mr Arvind Surange(Chief Managing Director , ACR Project Consultants), Mr Premal Karelia(Managing Director, Jay Storage Solutions), Mr Anand Chordia(Chairman – Food Processing Committee of MCCIA), Nabard Chief General Manager Uday Shirsalkar, Dr Chindi Vasudevappa (Vice Chancellor of NIFTEM, Haryana) were present on the occasion. Well known actor and Member of Parliament Ms Roopa Ganguly was the special guest of honour for the event.
Dr Darade said food processing comprises 32 per cent of India’s food sector and is a high growth, high profit business. Care, however, should be taken to ensure highest standards of food safety and hygiene while going after this opportunity, she said, adding that an ’empowered’ cold chain is of very high importance in the food chain operations. “About 40 per cent of India’s farm produce is wasted for want of storage and processing facilities and investments in efficient cold storage technology, with participation of private and public sectors, can give a big boost to processed foods sector.”
Mr Anand Chordia, Chairman of Food Processing Committee of MCCIA, said cold storage is a key element in the growth of trade in fresh fruit and vegetables and co-ordinated efforts are necessary to make cold chain more efficient and cost effective.
Mr Surange said the cold storage technology has undergone immense changes in the last few years and has expanded in terms of both scope and reach. India has the world’s largest installed cold storage capacity and if managed efficiently, India can be the regional food storage hub for the world.
Nabard CGM Mr Shirsalkar explained his organisations participation in the developmet of cold chain industry in terms of its funding of infrastructure projects such as improvement of rural roads. He also mentioned Nabard’s role in the implementation of Government schemes for encouraging farm sector and food processing.
MP Roopa Ganguly said lack of awareness among food sector players has led to wrong practices of storing and handling food products. Every one of us should try and optimise natural resources such as water to ensure that we cause lesser harm to the environment, she said. (END)