The government on Tuesday said it has approved 27 cold chain projects in 11 states with a grant-in-aid of Rs 208 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana (PMKSY). The Food Processing Industries Ministry in a statement said these projects were "approved" in Inter-Ministerial Approval Committee (IMAC) meetings under the 'Scheme for Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure' of PMKSY.
The meetings, held during second fortnight of August, were chaired by Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal through video conferencing, it said. According to the ministry, the 27 new integrated cold chain projects will leverage a total investment of Rs 743 crore for creation of modern, innovative infrastructure and effective cold chain facilities for food processing sector across the nation.
"These projects with a grant-in-aid of Rs 208 crore will help increase efficiency and sustainability in India's food supply chain," it said. The new integrated cold chain projects are likely to generate direct and indirect employment for 16,200 people and are likely to benefit 2,57,904 farmers, it added.
The ministry further said the projects have been approved across 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 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," Badal said.
These benefits are vital for the economic security of farmers, she added. "Saving the perishable produce by provisioning adequate infrastructure shall not only help in augmenting farmer's incomes but it shall also act as a small step towards making India Atma Nirbhar (self-reliant) in the fruits and vegetables sector," the minister said.
According to the ministry, a total of 85 cold chain projects have been considered for financial assistance throughout the country under the central sector scheme. Under the 'Scheme for Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure', the government provides financial assistance in the form of grant-in-aid at the rate of 35 per cent for general areas and 50 per cent for North-Eastern states, Himalayan states, and islands for storage and transport infrastructure.
Assistance of 50 per cent and 75 per cent, respectively, is also given for value addition and processing infrastructure subject to a maximum grant-in-aid of Rs 10 crore per project for setting up integrated cold chain projects, including irradiation facility from the farm gate to the consumer, the statement said. The ministry said it is striving to establish an integrated and seamless network of strong cold chain grid and infrastructure for uninterrupted transfer of perishables from production to consumption centres.