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Upscaling of the central sector scheme of Infrastructure Development for food processing

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries for further upscaling the scheme of cold chain, value addition and preservation infrastructure for food processing with an investment outlay of Rs.231 crore to assist additional 30 cold chain projects in the country.

India is a leading producer of fruits and vegetables, milk, meat, marine products and many other agricultural commodities in the world. The extent of wastage of agri produce has been estimated in the range from 0.8% to 18% due to lack of post-harvest infrastructural facilities. With a view to reduce the wastage, enhance shelf-life, value addition and employment generation and cold chain infrastructure has been given a major thrust during the 11th Plan.

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing a scheme for cold chain, value addition and preservation infrastructure which aims to provide for integrated cold chain and preservation facilities without any break, from the farm gate to the consumer. The scheme is designed to link farms to market through an efficient supply chain. The scheme provides for creation of farm proximate infrastructure in the form of minimal processing centres with facilities for weighing, sorting, grading, waxing, cleaning, controlled atmosphere, cold storage, deep freezing, IQF, mobile cooling units etc. The scheme also aims at promotion of irradiation technology for longer and safe storage of agriculture produce.

Under the scheme, an entrepreneur is eligible for grant-in-aid up to 50% of cost of plant & machinery and technical civil works subjected to a maximum of Rs. 10 crore (75% for North East & hilly areas). The project proposal is required to be appraised by a financial institution.

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries has so far approved 49 projects. These projects are targeted to create an additional cold chain capacity of 2.31 lakh MT, 234 reefer vehicles and 34 MT per hour of individual quick freezing capacity. The total project cost of the 49 projects is Rs. 1072.82 crore which involves Government grant of Rs. 380.41 crore and private investment of Rs. 691.61 crore.

Recently, development of cold chain infrastructure for agriculture has been identified as a thrust area. Government has also announced major fiscal incentives during last two years to enhance investment in cold chain sector. Cold chain projects are eligible for external commercial borrowing. Custom duty relief has been provided by according to the project import status. 



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