Tea Board incentivises tea exporters in North-East

The Tea Board of India has come up with an incentive scheme to provide monetary support towards additional transport and handling charges incurred by tea exporters in the north-east.

Under the scheme, tea exports from the north-east are eligible for a financial assistance of Rs.1.50 per kg of the product if the same is exported from the Inland Container Depot (ICD) located in Guwahati’s Amingaon area.

“The scope of the original scheme for assisting tea exports towards meeting handling, packaging, transport, freight charges and value addition costs have been extended with a view to also compensating exporters who are shipping teas from ICD Amingaon,” a Tea Board of India circular said.

The tea authority under the ministry of commerce and industry said the companies shipping Indian variants of tea abroad have to pay additional charges which are levied by chipping companies and the scheme will help the exporters.

The scheme will be applicable to exports during the 2014-15 fiscal and on disbursements made during April-December 2014.

Retrieved from – http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/tea-board-incentivises-tea-exporters-in-north-east-115081800768_1.html

Agriculture must get climate smart

With the Indian Met department having recently warned of weak monsoons this year due to the El Nino effect, there will be serious implications on agricultural production and food prices. More than 60% of the area under cropping in India is rain-fed. Low and erratic monsoon will severely affect the livelihood of those dependent on agriculture. It may be recalled that the frequency and intensity of droughts have increased during the last two decades. This is the direct impact of global warming and climate change. The recent IPCC report has highlighted that India’s high vulnerability and exposure to climate change and global warming will slow its economic growth, impact human health, and make poverty reduction and food security efforts more difficult. It is also projected that the climate change will lead to severe water shortage and trigger water-borne diseases. There are projections that India could lose 10-40% of its current crop production by the end of century due to global warming. A recent IFPRI-CCAFS study estimated that a 10% drought will increase prices of rice by 23%, followed by maize (16%), and pigeon pea (10%). These evidence indicate that drought will upset the government’s efforts of increasing agricultural production, ensuring food security and controlling food inflation.

There is no choice but to avert the negative impacts of a drought-like situation to meet the future demand for food, feed and fibre. It requires a long-term strategy which would prepare farmers to adapt and respond to climate change, and effectively overcome the threat of drought and other climate change eventualities. Climate-smart agriculture, which sustainably increases agricultural productivity and enhances achievement of national food security goals, provides a window of opportunity to avert the impact of drought. It contributes in:

  1. Promoting sustainable increase in agricultural productivity by incorporating climate change perspective (including drought),
  2. Building adaptive capacity and resilience of production portfolio to climatic risks without compromising food security and,
  3. Minimising green-house gas emissions and maximising carbon sequestration by improved management practices.

More precisely, it is a ‘win-win’ proposition that enhances agricultural productivity and farm incomes, reduces climatic risks (especially drought), and controls emission of green-house gases. To avert negative impact of climate change, accelerated adoption of climate-smart agriculture would be necessary which would require dynamic national policies and investment priorities that will positively influence local institutions and interventions to adapt climate change.

To prepare for averting impact of drought, we need to have a four-pronged strategy –

1) Climate-smart technologies: An array of climate-smart technologies are available, well-tested in different agro-ecological regions. These include  –

a)       stress resistance high-yielding varieties,

b)       soil test based nutrient management,

c)       rainwater conservation and management,

d)       efficient irrigation practices, and

e)       judicious use of energy.

The available technologies need to be complemented by risk-reducing agricultural diversification without compromising the national objective of food security and income stability. Village-level need assessment should be done to identify promising technologies which improve resource use efficiency, increase farm production and income, and minimise climatic risks.

2) Capacity building of key stakeholders: Knowledge management at the grass-root level is a basic necessity for preparing for climate change eventualities. Therefore, a campaign may be initiated to enhance capacity of farmers to implement climate-smart technologies and effective use of weather advisories. Capacity-building programs at village/cluster level may be organised. Use of electronic and print media may also be used to prepare farmers to meet the challenge of climate change.

3) ICT-based weather advisory: Weather advisory at the local level will play an important role in pursuing climate-resilient agricultural production systems. Location-specific weekly weather information and value-added agro-advisories should be disseminated to the farmers through the ICT. The already available Kissan SMS portal should be used for disseminating weather advisory to the farmers, extension specialists and other stakeholders. The Indian Met and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research should work in tandem to evolve value-added advisories for dissemination.

4) Weather index insurance: A part of the risk can be reduced by climate-smart technologies and improved management practices, but risks arising due to extreme weather events have to be mitigated through agricultural insurance. Several models of agricultural insurance are now available, but in recent times, index-based insurance has become more popular. Provision should be made the farmers crops are insured to compensate then in the extreme event of drought or other climate change eventuality.

Efforts need to be made to transform each village into climate-smart agricultural locations, which synergises the interventions listed here. Such initiatives will prepare farmers and other stakeholders to meet the threat of climate change, including drought. These efforts will avert any likely agrarian distress due to changing climatic conditions and will also safeguard the efforts of government to ensure food security and alleviate poverty.

Retrieved from – http://www.financialexpress.com/news/column-agriculture-must-get-climate-smart/1252242/1

Cultivable land continues to shrink

Cultivable land in India continues to shrink. It may not pose an immediate problem for the nation’s food security but its long-term effect could be disastrous with the country needing more and more foodgrains to support its growing population.

Latest data from the agriculture ministry shows that as many as 20 states reported decrease in cultivable land to the extent of 790,000 hectares in four years from 2007-08 to 2010-11.

The decrease is mainly attributed to diversion of cultivable land for non-agricultural purposes, including construction, industries and other development activities.

Since such diversion is inevitable, the government had in its National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy (NRRP), 2007 recommended several measures to keep a tab on ever-decreasing cultivable land in the country.

But the data, shared by the agriculture ministry in response to a question in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, shows that only five states have taken some steps to increase the areas under cultivation and three others ( Assam, Goa and Sikkim) have adhered to the policy of not tinkering with land which can be used for farming.

Gujarat is the only big state which increased the area of cultivable land during four years from 2007-08 to 2010-11. Manipur, Mizoram, Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh are the other states which reported increase during the period.

Haryana showed the sharpest decline in area under cultivation. The small state, which has seen diversion of huge tracts of cultivable land due to boom in real estate, reported decrease of 65,000 hectares of agricultural land between 2007-08 and 2010-11.

Since land falls under the purview of states as per the seventh Schedule of the Constitution, it is for states to bring in suitable policy to prevent diversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. The Centre had under its 2007 policy advised states to allow development projects to come up on wastelands.

Under NRRP, states were advised that acquisition of agricultural land for non-agricultural use should be kept to the minimum, multi-cropped land should be avoided to the extent possible for such purposes and acquisition of irrigated land, if unavoidable, may be kept to the minimum.

But it seems most states have not followed the norms, leading to overall decrease of nearly 406,000 hectares of cultivable land in the country during the four-year period.

Though the shrinkage did not have adverse impact on foodgrain production as the country reported increase from 230.8 million tonnes in 2007-08 to 255.4 million tonnes in 2012-13, the ever declining trend of cultivable land may pose a serious challenge in the long run.

Retrieved from – http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/cultivable-land-continues-to-shrink/articleshow/21856503.cms

Superpower? 230m Indians go hungry daily

Often, in the hype over economic growth, we forget the harsh reality of India – extreme poverty, hunger, disease, lack of education, and regressive social practices. We Indians should be ashamed about them. These simmering injustices cannot be allowed to fester because they will heighten social tensions that will ultimately risk our growth story.

With 21% of its population undernourished , nearly 44% of under-5 children underweight and 7% of them dying before they reach five years , India is firmly established among the world’s most hunger-ridden countries . The situation is better than only Congo , Chad , Ethiopia or Burundi , butitisworsethan Sudan ,NorthKorea , Pakistanor Nepal .
This is according to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) which combines the above three indicators to give us a Global Hunger Index (GHI) according to which India is 67th among the worst 80 countries in terms of malnourishment.

That’s not all . Data collected by GHI researchers shows that while there has been some improvement in children’s malnutrition and early deaths since 1990, the proportion of hungry in the population has actually gone up .Today ,India has 213 million hungry and malnourished people by GHI estimates although the UN agency Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) puts the figure at around 230 million .The difference is because FAO uses only the standard calorie intake formula for measuring sufficiency of food while the Hunger Index is based on broader criteria .

Nutrition schemes need to be expanded

Whichever way you slice it and dice it, the shameful reality is inescapable – India is home to the largest number of hungry people, about a quarter of the estimated 820 million in the whole world.

The National Family and Health Survey (NFHS), last carried out in 2004-05 , had shown that 23% of married men, 52% of married women and a chilling 72% of infants were anemic – a sure sign that a shockingly large number of families were caught in a downward spiral of slow starvation .

Global research has now firmly established that depriving the fetus of essential nutrients – as will happen in an under-nourished pregnant woman – seals the fate of the baby once it is born. It is likely to suffer from susceptibility to diseases and physical retardation , as also to mental faculties getting compromised.

So, continuing to allow people to go hungry and malnourished , is not just more misery for them: it is the fate of future generations of Indians in balance.

What can be done to fix this unending tragedy? The government already runs two of world’s biggest nutrition programs : the midday meal scheme for students up to class 12 and the Anganwadi program under which infants and children up to 6 are given “hot cooked” meals.

These need to be spread further and more resources pumped in to tackle weaknesses . For instance, a report by the anganwadi workers’ federation revealed that as many as 73,375 posts of anganwadi workers and 16,251 posts of supervisors are lying vacant. But the biggest contribution to fighting hunger would be providing universal coverage of the PDS with adequate amounts of grain, pulses and edible oils included.

Retrieved from – http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/superpower-230m-indians-go-hungry-daily/articleshow/11494465.cms

National Food Security Bill

After a prod by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, the Cabinet on Sunday cleared the National Food Security Bill at a specially convened meeting to table it in Parliament this week.

The bill, meant to provide subsidized foodgrains to people, brought to the Cabinet by food and public distribution minister K V Thomas, was approved without a hitch in a meeting that lasted under an hour.

The bill, which the UPA will table in Parliament in the hope of gaining some political dividend in the crucial Uttar Pradesh elections, seeks to cover 75% of the rural population and 50% of urban population in the country. Initial estimates suggest that the food subsidy bill could be upwards of Rs 1 lakh crore.

A minimum of 46% of the rural population and 28% urban population will get 7 kg of foodgrains per month per person. Rice would be provided at Rs 3 a kg, wheat at Rs 2 and coarse grains at Rs 1 a kg.

The rest of the targeted population would get 3 kg of grains per person per month at half the minimum support price offered to farmers by government during procurement. Existing nutrition and select social security schemes would also be brought under the legislation as an entitlement.

* For Priority Group (those below poverty line): 7 kg grain per month per person. Rice at Rs 3 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 per kg and coarse grain at Re 1 a kg

* For General Group: 3 kg per person per month at half of minimum support price given to farmers

* Beneficiaries under priority group – minimum 46% of rural population and 28% of urban population. Could go up based on results of Socio-Economic and Caste Census.

* Meals for vulnerable communities: Mid-day meal scheme and ICDS brought under the bill. Other nutrition schemes also to be made legal entitlements

* Total bill for grain supply: around Rs 1-1.5 lakh crore (including states’ share)

* Grains needed: 61 million tonnes

* Urgency: Talking point for Congress in the UP elections. Delay now would have pushed it back by 6 months

* Rollout: Phased, complete by 2013. In time to reap political dividend in 2014 parliamentary elections

* Logistical challenges: Increasing state procurement of grains and reducing pilferage in distribution. Survey is delayed and results unclear

* Political challenges: To gain mileage in several states where governments already provide wider coverage of PDS

Retrieved from – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Cabinet-clears-Food-Security-Bill-to-be-tabled-in-Parliament-this-week/articleshow/11160685.cms

Multi-tasking, the way forward for Govt to help Indian agriculture

Can agricultural policies of countries continue to maintain a stoic status quo when greater global food demand, higher prices, more volatile markets and increasing resource pressure have become the defining features of the global farm market?

The Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation 2011 report of OECD countries and emerging economies released recently has made a strong pitch for moving beyond ‘status quo’ policies by suggesting that countries should focus on improving farm productivity, sustainability and long-term competitiveness, rather than policies that distort markets.

Farm policies should also offer greater support to research, innovation and education, the report has argued. India needs to take these recommendations seriously simply because the country is one of the drivers, albeit in a limited way, of the global agricultural markets. Rising disposable incomes and demographic pressure drive food demand higher. But overall supply growth trails demand growth, leading to tightening availability and rising prices. Because of supply chain issues, the benefit of rising open market prices seldom flows to the primary producer.

POLICIES & PROGRAMMES

In other words, high market prices do not automatically result in a supply response. Another factor to reckon with is the rising cost of production resulting from higher input costs. Increased use of inputs (seeds, fertilisers, agrochemicals) has not translated into a commensurate higher yield. We need to design policies and programmes that help reduce costs – production as well as post-production.

Indeed, with available natural endowments – 270 days of sunshine, 900 mm of annual rainfall, varied agro-climatic conditions, rivers crisscrossing the country, 7,000-km-long coastline, extraordinary biodiversity and abundant labour force – India ought to have become a global farm powerhouse long ago.

Yet, we face the daunting challenge of feeding our population of 120 crore. Food in India is both unaffordable and inaccessible for a large number of the poor. Unabated food inflation is seen further diluting the already inadequate nutritional content of poor man’s frugal food.

With volatility expected to remain high and growing concerns about climate change, farmers will need comprehensive risk management systems that best address their specific needs, the report has pointed out adding governments should support the development of market-based tools while steering clear of actions that interfere with farmers’ management of normal business risk.

While high farm prices create opportunities for farmers, high and volatile food prices have particularly severe impact on the poorest people around the world who spend a large proportion of their available income on food.

For this group of consumers, improved safety nets can help with immediate needs. However, as the report notes, policies that improve agricultural productivity and long-term resilience will provide the long-term solution.

Meanwhile, total OECD farm support has registered a small decline in 2010 to $366 billion from the previous year’s $378 billion. Of this, support to producers stood at $227 billion. Admittedly, most government support is still given in ways that distort production and trade while doing relatively little to improve productivity and competitiveness, ensure sustainable resource use or help farmers cope with risk.

Insofar as the OECD region is concerned, time is ripe for reforming farm support, the report has observed. With tighter government budgets and farmers getting top prices for their crops, governments should begin to shift from payments that further support farm incomes and move to policies that have long-term benefits for the global food economy.

Farm support in emerging countries is generally well below OECD levels, but also varies overtime and across countries. However, there is something that an emerging economy such India can learn from OECD support policies and that relates what is described as ‘General Services support’.

Countries spend huge amounts for delivering general services to agriculture. These are not crop-specific, but cover a gamut of services that benefit all crops. The general services cover research and development, agricultural schools, inspection services, infrastructure, marketing and promotion, public stockholding and miscellaneous services.

The expenditure on general services in OECD area has been rising year after year. In 2010, it stood at an estimated $99 billion, up from $91 billion in 2009, $84 billion in 2008 and $73 billion in 2007. Indian policymakers can take a cue from the OECD experience. Our rural infrastructure, for instance, is totally inadequate, while inspection services are anything but confidence inspiring.

FARM SUPPORT POLICY

While Indian ministers and officials may make politically expedient noises in international forums against OECD farm support, it would be immensely beneficial to adopt some elements of the farm support policy of industrial countries. ‘General Services Support’ is a case in point. India needs to put its own house in order.

A lot of work is left undone as far as agriculture is concerned. We need a committed government that demonstrates ‘political will’ to implement progressive and growth-oriented policies. Accountability for outcomes is necessary. Clearly, there is no one-step solution to addressing the issues of Indian agriculture. India has to move in several different directions simultaneously but with singularity of purpose and one common objective.

Multitasking is the way forward.

Retrieved from  – http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/article2546133.ece

Rubber Board seeks NE funds pattern change

The Rubber Board has decided to approach the Planning Commission for cent per cent funding of rubber plantation in the northeastern states.

Generally, a state provides 50 per cent of the funds, while Rubber Board bears 40 per cent of the expenditure. The remaining 10 per cent is borne by the beneficiaries.

The Board’s decision to seek 100 per cent funding from Planning Commission stemmed from the fact that many of the states often failed to provide its share of fund, preventing implementation of block plantation of rubber in the region.

As part of block rubber plantation, which is the flagship scheme of the Rubber Board, 100 farmers are chosen for rubber cultivation. Each farmer has to go for rubber plantation in two hector plot according to the scheme.

A senior Rubber Board official said block plantation was the only way to promote rubber production in the region. So far, only Tripura and Meghalaya have block rubber plantation.

Tripura is the second largest producer of natural rubber in the country after Kerala. About 55,415 hectare area is is under rubber plantation in Tripura. Out of Assam’s 200,000 hectare potential areas for rubber plantation, only 28,102 hectare have been covered by rubber plantation. In Meghalaya, 9,196 hectare has been used for rubber plantation out of the 500,000 hector potential area. Nagaland has 15,000 hectare potential area, of which 4,141 hectare has been utilized. In Arunachal Pradesh, 1,200 hectare is under rubber plantation out of its 25,000 hector potential area. Mizoram has 908 hectare under rubber plantation out of 50,000 hectare potential area and Manipur has 2,723 hectare rubber plantation out of 10,000 potential area.

“Unless the northeastern states go for block plantation, we cannot tap the production in the region. Triupura could script the rubber production success story only because of block plantation,” the official said.

He added that one of the major reasons for block plantation for rubber not being successful in many of the northeastern states is that the states’ shares of fund do not come on time.

Retrieved from  – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/Rubber-Board-seeks-NE-funds-pattern-change/articleshow/9868432.cms

What future holds for Indian farmers?

 Although the agricultural yield increased in India after independence but in the last few years there is sharp decline in its productivity. The total production of food grain was 212 million tonnes in 2001- 2002 and the next year it declined to 174.2 million tonnes. And agriculture growth rate in India declined by 5.2 percent in 2002- 2003. The Growth rate of the Agriculture Sector in India GDP grew at the rate of 1.7 percent each year between 2001- 2002 and 2003- 2004. This shows that Agriculture Growth Rate in India GDP has grown very slowly in the last few years.

The agricultural sector has had low production due to a number of factors such as illiteracy, insufficient finance, inadequate marketing of agricultural products and introduction of genetically modified BT seeds to increase productivity. Farmer suicides are also hugely responsible for this sudden outburst in Indian agriculture. A record 2.5 lakh farmers have committed suicide in India over the last 13 years. Every 12 hours a farmer is said to have commit suicide in India. Many have also opted for other occupations due to the evils associated with it.

Retrieved from http://www.siliconindia.com/shownews/_What_future_holds_for_Indian_farmers-nid-88556.html

Tapping the Huge Potential of Food Processing Sector of India

New Delhi, Aug 10, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio /  PIB India) Food grain production has registered a record growth in the country in recent years. India also ranks high among fruit, vegetable, milk, poultry and meat producing countries of the world. This has led to remarkable improvement in the earning capacity of population engaged in agriculture and allied sectors.  However, due to lack of efficient supply chains and processing infrastructure, the processing levels in the country are quite low. This results in considerable amount of wastage of agricultural and horticultural produce.  As per a study conducted by the Central Institute for Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology, post-harvest losses in 2009 were to the tune of Rs. 44,000 crore.

To harness the full potential of the food sector, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries launched new schemes in the 11th Plan, which are at different stages of implementation. The focus of these schemes is on creation of modern infrastructure to facilitate growth of food processing and cold chain system for handling perishable produce. More specifically, these schemes relate to the setting up of mega food parks, integrated cold chains, value addition and preservation of infrastructure, and modernization of abattoirs.

Mega Food Parks Scheme

The Mega Food Parks Scheme (MFPS), a flagship programme in the food processing sector, facilitates establishment of a strong infrastructure backed by an efficient supply chain. The Mega Food Parks have farm proximate facilities such as primary processing centres, collection centres and a central processing centre. The food processing units within a Mega Food Park use common infrastructure required for processing, packaging, quality control labs, trade facilitation centre etc, based on their needs.  This cluster approach makes food processing more economically viable. The state-of-the art processing infrastructure gives them the required technical edge.

Mega Food Parks have the potential to revive the agriculture in the surrounding areas by increasing returns for farmers, besides creating large employment opportunities in rural areas.

Each Mega Food Park is envisaged to catalyse an investment of Rs. 250 crore, leading to annual turnover of about Rs. 400 – 500 crore. The scheme provides for a capital grant of 50 percent of the project cost (excluding the cost of land) subject to a maximum of Rs. 50 crore. In difficult and ITDP notified areas, the grant is even higher at 75 percent of project cost (excluding the cost of land) with a ceiling of Rs. 50 crore. The grant is utilized towards creation of common infrastructure in the Mega Food Park and also setting up of Primary Processing and Collection Centres.

Out of 30 proposed Mega Food Parks, 15 projects have been taken up so far. Of this, final approval has been accorded to 8 Mega Food Parks in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand, Assam, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The cumulative project cost of these Parks is Rs. 930 crore. This includes grant of Rs.400 crore.

In-principle approval has been accorded to the remaining 7 projects.  15 new Mega Food Parks are in the process of Government approval.

Scheme for Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure

The Scheme for Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure intends to address the shortage of cold storage capacity. Huge gap of 9 to 10 million tonnes of cold storage capacity was identified in the country by the Task Force on Cold Chains. The scheme aims at providing integrated and complete cold chain, value addition and preservation infrastructure facilities without any break, for perishables from the farm gate to the consumer. The assistance under the scheme includes financial assistance (grant-in-aid) of 50% of total cost of plant and machinery and technical/ civil works in general areas and 75% for North East region and difficult areas, subject to a maximum of Rs. 10 Crore.

Initially, 10 integrated cold chain projects are under implementation in different parts of the country. Out of these projects, 8 have started commercial production. Concurrent evaluation of projects reveals substantive value addition, reduction in wastage and enhancement in farmers’ income.

In the second phase, 39 proposals have been approved. The approved proposals envisage a total investment of about Rs. 850 crore which would be creating cold chain capacity of about 1.60 lakh tonne.

Taking note of the high demand for and the gap in the availability  of cold storage, processing, preservation and cold logistics facilities in India, the Ministry is planning to upscale the Scheme and the Planning Commission has accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for the same.

A number of other initiatives have been taken in the last few years to upgrade the food processing capacities in different areas. As part of it, in the 1st phase 10 projects have been approved for modernization of abattoirs which are progressing well.   Two projects have already been completed.

Research, education and training in the food processing sector are being supported by the Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology. The National Meat and Poultry Processing Board is engaged in promotion of meat industry. Grape processing is being supported by the Indian Grape Processing Board to cater to the needs of fast-growing wine industry.

The food processing sector is progressing well. The average growth has doubled from 7% in 2004 to 14% in 2010. The Vision 2015 Document has set the goal of tripling the size of the processed food sector. A number of schemes are already under operation in the sector and some  more are in the pipeline to achieve the goal.  These schemes, coupled with other flagship programmes in agriculture and allied sectors, are bound to change the face of rural India and add prosperity to the life of the common man.

Ministry of food processing finalizes Vision 2015 document

In order to urgently reduce the wastage quotient in the processing of perishables, the ministry of food processing has finalized its Vision 2015 Document which has set a target of tripling the size of the processed food sector, Lok Sabha was told today.

Replying in writing to a query on the subject, MoS, MFPI, Charan Das Mahant said that the document envisage increasing the level of processing of perishables from 6% to 20%, value addition from 20% 35% and share in global food trade from 1.5% to 3% by 2015.

In order to minimize wastage of fruit and vegetables, Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MFPI) is, consequently, encouraging setting up of cold chain facilities through a Plan Scheme for Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure coined during the 11th Plan. This was to provide financial assistance to project proposals received from public / private organizations for cold chain infrastructure development.

The scheme, the minister said, envisaged financial assistance in the form of grant-in-aid @ 50% of the total cost of plant and machinery and technical civil works in general areas and 75% for North Eastern Region and difficult areas subject to a maximum of Rs.10.00 crore.

However, he gave no information on how effective this scheme had proved so thus far, especially in view of stringent criticism from the private sector on the lack of a viable scheme for exponentially boosting cold storage infrastructure countrywide.

Retrieved on 11 th August, 2011 from http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-08-09/news/29867234_1_cold-chain-share-in-global-food-difficult-areas-subject