The National Horticulture Board (NHB) will dedicate its first Saffron Park at Pampore in Jammu & Kashmir to its farmers by early 2016 which will produce the saffron of the finest quality to cater to its domestic and even export requirements with efficiency rate par excellence, According to AK Singh, Managing Director,NHB.
Speaking at the inaugural session of National Conference on Cold Chain Infrastructure in India under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday in New Delhi, Singh also disclosed that his department has come out with subsidies schemes ranging from 35 percent to 50 percent to build multi commodities pack houses with special provisioning to storing perishables such as onion and tomato to restrict occasional and un-seasonal spike in their prices and wastages.
“India’s first saffron park at Pampore will become operational in next few months as the physical infrastructure for this park has almost been completed with an investment of Rs.24 crores as this park has been created at high density saffron grown areas off 35 to 40 km of Srinagar and will be dedicated to its farmers by early 2016”, said Singh adding that at this point the NHB is not contemplating creation of another such a park as one would be sufficient to harness its available potential in the Jammu & Kashmir region.
Elaborating on the issue of multi commodities horticulture pack houses, Singh pointed out that not many promoters had been coming forward to set up cold storages and pack houses particularly for horticulture commodities such as onions and tomatos, therefore, the government has floated a subsidy schemes for multi commodities pack houses.
“Especial provisions have been made to rope in promoters for pack houses for storing onions and tomatos and other such perishables with a subsidy element of 35 percent in northern eastern areas to cater to needs of far off and remote places and to an extent of 50 percent for Himalayan regions as it would make for sound supply chain system to serve the requirements of the plains”, said Singh.
ML Arora, CEO, Fresh & Healthy Enterprises pointed out that refrigerated transport or cold chain distribution is still in its nascent stage in India and is way behind if compared to world standards for cargo movement.
Anil Khaitan, Vice President, PHD Chamber, said that India’s integrated cold chain industry – a combination of surface storage and refrigerated transport – has been growing at a CAGR of 20 percent for the last three years. The cold chain market in India is anticipated to reach Rs.62,400 crores by 2017.