Food Processing Industry, Cold Chain and Frozen food distribution systems
India has tremendous potential to become the primary source of agricultural products, more specifically food products in the world. It has about 53% of arable land – land available for cultivation of crops as compared to a measly average of about 11% for the rest of the world. I
t has some feathers in it’s cap as the second highest fruit and vegetable producer in the world, 6th largest producer of fish and such like but still doesn’t make up to the top 10 food exporting countries.If it weren’t for some severe infrastructure and technology issues, there is actually stopping for this gigantic food bowl.
With large tracts of arable land, inexpensive labour and high-quality produce tumbling out of the barns, there is a potential so huge that sometimes, the scope and scale is almost unbelievable.
However, if one had to point out at one single single reason as to why the Indian agricultural industry is such a laggard when pitted against the global standards, it could be the pathetic state of the logistics, distribution and and an inefficient supply chain.
India faces an acute problem of large amounts of food wasted away due to the lack of a proper cold storage, cold chain and frozen food distribution system. If only this was in place, huge amounts of food could have been processed into some kind of value added foods and sold both locally and abroad.
Annually, there is usually a large amount of such agricultural produce that is waste away. If there were cold storage systems, efficient cold chain, logistics and distribution companies, it could have been possible to process these primary products into newer, secondary products and resold to consumers locally and internationally. A strategy needs to be carved out for the growth of this industry and a lot of investment action is yet to see some real action.
Investment in cold storage, cold chain distribution, installation of food processing plants across the country, applied research on harvesting technologies an a rapid development of the food retail industry are all necessary steps that would ensure an organic growth in this sector.
What is Cold Chain?
A cold chain is basically a logistics system, which helps in maintaining and providing a series of facilities for ensuring ideal storage conditions for the persihables from the point of origin to the point of sale.
A well developed and efficiently organized cold chain reduces wastage, spoilage and helps keeps the perishables intact thereby helping to maintain the quality of the harvested food products ultimately making the whole system cost effective to the farmers and that which ensures top-notch quality to the end user.