SRINAGAR: Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo on Wednesday inaugurated 550 metric ton (MT) capacity Cold Storage facility at Agri Complex Lal Mandi Srinagar.
The 550 MT capacity cold storage facility would house perishable items and veggies for preservation at nominal charges to fetch marginal farmers’ attractive prices for their produce.
On the occasion, Dulloo took the round of the facility and enquired about the capacity, charges and storing of produce, regulation of temperature of chambers, etc.
Managing Director J&K Agro Industries Development Corporation Ltd (JK Agro), Arun Kumar Manhas informed the ACS that the facility has been constructed by J&K Agro under PMDP and was outsourced to the highest bidder through the tendering process on rental charges.
MD said that the cold storage facility would aid farmers to preserve their perishable produce and prevent wastage and losses of their produce.
He said the facility has been outsourced to Kanwal Foods & Spices Pvt Ltd.
Speaking at the inauguration, Dulloo said that as J&K is in need of a more cold storage facility for which the government is taking several steps to increase the capacity in cold storage.
He said that several new projects have already been sanctioned while the work is going on various other projects.
He said that the 550 MT cold store facility will help in preserving perishable items and produce like fruits and vegetables and eventually increase shelf life due to which farmers can fetch good prices and subsequently increase their income.
He said that several projects have been sent for approval under Mission for Integrated Development for Horticulture (MIDH) with some projects have already been approved with subsidy being provided by the government and loan being also provided to the farmers.
He said that the government’s endeavor is to double the cold storage capacity in the next few years across J&K.
He added that an apex committee was formed under the chairmanship of Dr Mangala Rai who has also recommended several cold stores while some cold stores have also been approved some under NABARD.
On the occasion, Dulloo also inspected the site for banana ripening chamber with 60 ton capacity
Director Sheep Husbandry Kashmir, Director Horticulture Kashmir, Director Agriculture Kashmir, Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir Horticultural Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation (JKHPMC) Ltd, Secretary J&K State Advisory Board for Development of Kisans and other concerned were also present on the occasion.