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What a waste! Fruits, veggies worth crores rot in India

November 29, 2013 09:35 IST

What a waste! Fruits, veggies worth crores rot in India

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India wastes about Rs 13,300 crore worth fruits and vegetables per year due to lack of adequate cold storage facilities, according to a report by US-based technology firm Emerson.

"India, the world's second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, is throwing away fresh produce worth Rs 133 billion every year because of the country’s lack of adequate cold storage facilities and refrigerated transport," Emerson Climate Technologies India said in a statement.

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Image: A vendor sells vegetables at a market in Mumbai.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

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Emerson Climate Technologies is part of the US-based manufacturing and technology company Emerson.

"Eighteen per cent of India’s fruit and vegetable production – valued at Rs 13,300 crore – is wasted annually, according to data from the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET)," the statement said.

The report pointed out that two of the biggest contributors to food losses are the lack of refrigerated transport and the lack of high quality cold storage facilities for food manufacturers and food sellers.

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Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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The Emerson food wastage and cold storage report cites studies that have pegged the value of fruits, vegetables and grains wastage in India at Rs 44,000 crore annually.
Fruits and vegetables account for the largest portion of that wastage.

"Without improvements to its cold chain infrastructure, from farm harvest to table, India’s food problems will remain vast and are likely to grow," warns the Emerson report.

Currently, India has 6,300 cold storage facilities across the country, with an installed capacity of 30.11 million tonnes.

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Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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Studies have shown this is half the amount of cold storage facilities that India actually needs.

"Cold storage capacity for all food products in the country should be more than 61 million tonnes. In order to reach that target, the report says an investment of more than

Rs 550 billion is needed by 2015-2016 just to keep up with growing fruit and vegetable production levels," the statement said. 


Photographs: Babu/Reuters
Tags: India

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