3 Lakh farmers to benefit from new cold chain projects: Minister

3 Lakh farmers to benefit from new cold chain projects, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal
The projects have been approved across the states of Andhra Pradesh (7), Bihar (1), Gujarat (2), Haryana (4), Karnataka (3), Kerala (1), Madhya Pradesh (1), Punjab (1), Rajasthan (2), Tamil Nadu (4) and Uttar Pradesh (1)

New integrated cold chain projects are likely to generate direct and indirect employment for 16,200 and are likely to benefit 2,57,904 farmers. Twenty seven projects were approved in Inter-Ministerial Approval Committee (IMAC) meetings under the Scheme for Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition infrastructure of Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana (PMKSY), Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister of Food Processing Industries has said while chairing the meetings through video conferencing.

The projects have been approved across the states of Andhra Pradesh (7), Bihar (1), Gujarat (2), Haryana (4), Karnataka (3), Kerala (1), Madhya Pradesh (1), Punjab (1), Rajasthan (2), Tamil Nadu (4) and Uttar Pradesh (1).These new integrated cold chain projects will leverage a total investment of 743 crore for the creation of modern, innovative infrastructure and effective cold chain facilities for the food processing sector across the nation. These projects with a grant-in-aid of 208 crore will help increase efficiency and sustainability in India’s food supply chain, Ministry of Food Processing Industries has informed.

Speaking on the occasion, Badal said that saving the perishable produce, by provisioning adequate infrastructure, should not only help in augmenting farmers’ incomes but it should also act as a small step towards making India Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) in the fruits and vegetables sector. She further said that these integrated cold chain projects would not only provide a big boost to the growth of food processing infrastructure but would also help in streamlining the agricultural supply chain, generate direct and indirect employment opportunities in rural areas, provide better prices to farmers, end-users, and benefit allied sectors. She added that these benefits are vital for the economic security of farmers.

As many as 85 cold chain projects have been considered for financial assistance throughout the country. This is a boost to government’s efforts towards bridging the gap in supply chain and building world-class cold chain infrastructure through the scheme of cold chain, value addition and preservation infrastructure of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana.

The integrated cold chain projects will not only provide a big boost to the growth of food processing infrastructure but would also help in streamlining the agricultural supply chain, generate direct and indirect employment opportunities in rural areas, provide better prices to farmers, end-users, and benefit allied sectors. These benefits are vital for the economic security of farmers.

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries is establishing an integrated and seamless network of strong cold chain grid and infrastructure for the uninterrupted transfer of perishables from production to consumption centers. This would maintain the safety, quality, and quantity and storage of perishable produce such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat, fish marine, poultry, ready to eat food products.

Under the Central sector scheme of Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, the Ministry provides financial assistance in the form of grant-in-aid at the rate of 35 percent for general areas and the rate of 50 percent for North-Eastern states, Himalayan states, ITDP areas, and islands for storage and transport infrastructure. The assistance at 50 percent and 75 percent respectively are also given for value addition and processing infrastructure subject to a maximum grant-in-aid of 10 crore per project for setting up integrated cold chain projects, including irradiation facility from the farm-gate to the consumer.

The food processing industry has the potential to absorb the excess farm produce thereby benefiting the farmers and at the same time, convert the harvest into a value-added processed product that can meet the domestic as well as the global demand. The meetings of the Inter-Ministerial Approval Committee (IMAC) to sanction the above projects were held on 21st, 24th, 28th and 31st August 2020.

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