Despite India being the world’s largest producer of milk and second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, about 40 to 50 per cent of the total output valued of $440 billion ends up being wasted, a study said in New Delhi on Tuesday.
"India has about 6,300 cold storage facilities with a capacity of 30.11 million tons, which are only able to store about 11 per cent of the country's total perishable produce," said DS Rawat, the Assocham Secretary General.
Highlighting that about 60 per cent of this capacity was spread across Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Punjab, the Assocham-MRSS India joint study said: "The situation is severe in southern part of India due to unavailability of cold storage units, moreover as the climate is far more hot and humid."
The study estimated that the cold chain market in India valued at $167.24 billion in 2016, was projected to reach $234.49 billion by 2020. The cold chain market had grown steadily in the last few years and this trend was projected to continue until 2020.
"Shortage of adequate infrastructure, lack of trained personnel, outdated technology and inconsistent power supply are other major obstacles in the growth of cold chain infrastructure in India," said Rawat.
He said that setting up of cold-chain involves higher infrastructure cost.
"Given the expected growth in grocery retail to $847.9 billion by 2020 from $500 billion in 2012, there are some changes expected by the industry as a whole to ensure three significant areas of handling food collection, storage and transportation to be more cost effective for retailer."