Cabinet approves national centre for developing cold chains

The union cabinet today gave a ex-post facto approval for registering the National Centre for Cold Chain Development (NCCD) as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, and approved a  one-time grant of Rs25-crore for setting up a corpus fund for it.

Accordingly, the NCCD will have its own memorandum of association and rules and regulations for the conduct of day-to-day business.

A govewrnment release said all stakeholders would be members of the society as partyners under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model.

The NCCD will have a governing council under the chairmanship of secretary of the ministry of agriculture, and 22 members  drawn from government officials, the Confederation of Indian Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, farmers, cold chain equipment manufacturers and supplies.

With a production of 71.5 million tonnes of fruits, 133.7 million million tonnes of vegetables and 17.8 million million tonnes of other commodities like spices, coconut, cashew, mushroom, honey, flowers, etc, India is the second largest producer of horticultural commodities in the world. However, a significant portion of the produce, particularly perishables like fruits, vegetables, flowers, etc, goes waste due to post-harvest losses.

To address this issue, a 'task force on cold chain development' was constituted by the centre in 2008.

In its report, the task force recommended the setting up of a dedicated institution for promoting cold chain development in the country.

The National Spot Exchange (NSE), in its study, Cold Chain Grid in India (2010) also recommended the need for a robust cold chain infrastructure for reducing the post harvest losses of perishables.