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Cold Supply Chain poised for greater glory

Pawanexh Kohli CEO/Chief Advisor, NCCD To begin with, let me point out the numbers which make India a powerhouse in the world today in terms of horticulture and other time-sensitive production lines. We are the second largest in fruit production (81million tones) and

vegetable production (162million tones). India is the largest producer of milk (150million tonnes) and in fish products, our ranking is third with more than 8 million tonnes. We also have a huge buffalo livestock(105 million), and are the largest exporter in the world with1.52 million tons last year. But there is no denying the fact that we have to achieve more in exploiting the benefits of our assets in case of fruits, vegetables, milk, fishery or meat products in terms of adequate cold supply chain support system. We have around 200 ports to boast of but there is not a single perishables gateway. Only 8000 actively refrigerated trucks ply on the roads of a geographically vast country like ours and reefer rail options are very limited. However, despite recent slowdown spell, our market continues to remain in a dynamic state vis-Ă -

vis other countries. So much so that some economists attribute Inflationary trend in recent years tofood items as the prime driver, with perishables contributing highest.There are clear evidences to suggest that this demand trend would continue and the need for cold-chain services will multiply. We have already become 5th largest retail market worldwide and according to a projection there would be 1,968,000 consumer food outlets by 2015. These trends simply point out that our battle to harness the potential of our rising agricultural production especially perishables would get increasingly intense and definitely, the most critical response would be creating multiple robust cold supply chain systems that stretch pan-India and link our regions together. That is what NCCD is mandated for and we are responding to this

LOGISTICS TIMES April 2014

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