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Indian trade team in US to study food storage

April 28, 2011 12:54 IST
A 12-member Indian trade delegation, supported by US Trade and Development Agency, is currently travelling various parts of America to learn about modern cold chain technologies and US practices and standards.

"This trade mission offers an opportunity to introduce US cold chain technologies to India while continuing our dialogue about best practices in the sector," USTDA Director Leocadia Zak said.

The trade mission has been supported by USTDA in response to President Barack Obama's call for increased cooperation in agriculture during his trip to India in November last year.

The trade mission, from April 23 to May 6, includes visits with US companies and government representatives in Atlanta, New Orleans, and Washington DC.

The visit includes delegates from the Ministry of Food Processing and the National Horticulture Board, as well as private sector operators of cold chain facilities in India.

In New Orleans, the delegates would attend International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, World Food Logistics Organization Annual Convention
and Expo, the largest cold chain trade show, and would be provide an opportunity to meet a large variety of US suppliers.

Because of the lack of cold chain infrastructure to keep fruit and vegetables fresh in India, a quarter or more of agricultural produce is wasted in the country.

"The trade mission will aim to introduce the technology necessary to improve India's cold chain infrastructure, which would enhance the country's ability to maintain the value and quality of its agricultural production.

An efficient cold chain system is an important component of India's agricultural economy and is vital for the country's development," USTDA said in a statement.

The trade mission supports the ongoing US-India Agricultural Dialogue's efforts to extend food security in India.

It will introduce Indian delegates to US technology and expertise in the areas of harvesting, storing, processing, and transporting agricultural products.

Exposure to US technology in this area will decrease spoilage and maintain a high level of quality throughout the supply chain in India to ensure food safety and security, USTDA said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington, DC
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