Millennium Post

10 MT more storage capacity must to prevent post-harvest losses

India requires 9-10 million tonnes of additional cold storage capacity in order to prevent post-harvest losses to farmers that currently stands at around Rs 1,00,000 crore every year, said a latest report.

According to a joint report by industry chamber Assocham and private sector lender Yes Bank, India produces 200 million tonnes of fruits and vegetables annually but 35-40 per cent of fruits and vegetables are wasted.

'Post-harvest losses of farm produce of fruits, vegetables and other perishables, have been estimated to be over Rs 1 trillion per annum, 57 per cent of which is due to avoidable wastage and the rest due to avoidable costs of storage and commissions,' the report 'FDI in Retail – Advantage Farmers' said.

Lack of adequate storage facilities causes heavy losses to farmers in terms of quality degradation and wastage of produce in general and of fruits and vegetables in particular, it added.

'India has nearly 23 million tonnes of cold storage facilities where as it currently needs at least 9-10 million tonnes more of capacity,' the study said, adding 5,386 standalone cold storage facilities are there in the country.

For creating infrastructure, 100 per cent FDI is permitted in cold-chain through automatic route, but in absence of FDI in front-end retail, the investment flow in this sector has been insignificant, it added.

The total warehousing capacity in India is 108.75 million tonnes and another 35 million tonnes capacity is required in the 12th Five-Year Plan.

'In terms of value, market size of warehousing in FY09 was Rs 19,200 crore and it grew to Rs 22,810 crore in FY'11 and is expected to grow to Rs 35,100 crore in FY16 with a CAGR of 9 per cent. In this, only 12 per cent accounts for agri warehousing and the rest 88 per cent is for industrial purposes,' the report said.

It also said that following the relaxation of FDI norms in retail, India is expected to see an investment of over Rs 40,000 crore in multi-brand segment and the organised market is likely to grow to Rs 4,80,000 crore by 2016-17.

Major foreign players are now expected to create positive atmosphere for farmers, suppliers, consumers, economy and the enterprise itself, it added.

The opening up of FDI in multi-brand retail segment is expected to bring in an investment of over Rs 400 crore.    
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