Technology for Food Processing
A study to assess the harvest and post-harvest losses of major crops and commodities in India has been undertaken by Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on behalf of this Ministry. As per the study, major reasons for wastage of food grain produce are poor farm operations like harvesting, threshing, storage, insect/pest infestation etc. In case of fruits and vegetables also there are high losses in farm level operations. As per the report the extent of losses varies from 4.58% to 15.88% in respect of fruits and vegetables and 4.65% to 5.99% in case of cereals.
To encourage investment in latest technology of food preservation, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is operating a Central Sector Scheme of Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure with the objective of preventing post- harvest horticulture & non-horticulture losses by providing financial assistance for setting up integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure facilities. Under the Scheme, financial assistance is provided in the form of grants-in-aid upto 50 % of the cost of Technical Civil Work and Plant & Machinery in general areas and 75 % in NE and hilly areas subject to maximum of Rs. 10 crore per project. Integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure can be set up by individuals, groups of entrepreneurs, cooperative societies, Self Help Groups (SHGs), Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), NGOs, Central/State PSUs, etc.
Under this scheme, the Ministry has sanctioned 138 cold chain projects so far since inception of the scheme in 2008. The Cold Chain scheme has acted as a catalyst in bringing investment in this sector. The total project cost of 138 projects is Rs. 3271 crore with private investment of Rs. 2162 crore and grant-in-aid of Rs. 1109 crore.
In addition, National Horticulture Mission (NHM), National Horticulture Board (NHB), and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) under Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India are also providing assistance for setting up cold storages under their respective schemes.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.