A study to assess the harvest and post-harvest losses of major crops and commodities in India has been undertaken by Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Major reasons for wastage of food grain produce are poor farm operations. As per the report the extent of losses varies from 4.58 per cent to 15.88 per cent in respect of fruits and vegetables and 4.65 per cent to 5.99 per cent in case of cereals.
To encourage investment in latest technology of food preservation, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is operating a Central Sector Scheme of Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure with the objective of preventing post- harvest horticulture & non-horticulture losses by providing financial assistance for setting up integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure facilities, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in Rajya Sabha today. Under the Scheme, financial assistance is provided in the form of grants-in-aid upto 50 % of the cost of Technical Civil Work and Plant & Machinery in general areas and 75 % in NE and hilly areas subject to maximum of Rs. 10 crore per project. Integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure can be set up by individuals, groups of entrepreneurs, cooperative societies, Self Help Groups (SHGs), Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), NGOs, Central/State PSUs, etc.
Under this scheme, the Ministry for Food Processing has sanctioned 138 cold chain projects so far since inception of the scheme in 2008. The Cold Chain scheme has acted as a catalyst in bringing investment in this sector. The total project cost of 138 projects is Rs. 3271 crore with private investment of Rs. 2162 crore and grant-in-aid of Rs. 1109 crore.
In addition, National Horticulture Mission (NHM), National Horticulture Board (NHB), and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) under Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India are also providing assistance for setting up cold storages under their respective schemes.