Big Basket, Amul, Haldiram and Falcon Marine Exports are among the dozens of companies that will be awarded government grants to build a total of 101 cold chains with a combined storage capacity of 2,76,000 tonne of farm and food items. This is for the first time that the government will award so many cold chain projects in one go, as the food processing ministry steps up efforts to cut wastage of farm items, estimated at a massive R92,000 crore a year, food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said on Monday.
The investments on these projects will be to the tune of R3,100 crore, including the government grant of R838 crore. The rest—over R2,200 crore —will be invested by the companies concerned. The maximum government grant will be R10 crore per project. The details of the projects and eligible companies will be announced shortly.
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Apart from creating additional capacity of 2,76,000 tonne of cold storage/controlled atmosphere/frozen storage, these projects will have a capacity of 115 tonne/hour of individual quick freezing, 56-lakh-litres per day of milk processing, 210 tonne (per batch) of blast freezing and 629 refrigerated/ insulated vehicles. So overall, 4.7 million tonnes of farm and horticulture produce worth Rs 12,000 crore will be processed once these projects are operational, which will reduce wastages by 13%, Badal said.