Govt to augment Cold Storage capacity: Veeri

JK facing shortfall of CA facility for 257796 MTs of fruit

SRINAGAR: Minister for Horticulture, Hajj and Auqaf, Mr Ar Veeri today said that the government is exploring the possibility of establishing a chain of Cold Atmospheric Stores for the fruit industry across the State.

Chairing a meeting of officers of Horticulture, SIDCO and representatives of Cold Storage units and various fruit growers associations , the Horticulture Minister said that there is need to expand the cold storage  network across the State and government is focussing on this critical aspect of post harvesting management of fruits especially apple.

“We would like to see more and more CA storage projects sanctioned by the Union Government to address the shortfall of such stores for over 257796 MTs of fruit”, he said adding that out of the 43 such projects submitted to the Centre, only 9 projects have been sanctioned so far, which only caters to 51700 MTs of fruit.

Commissioner Secretary Agriculture Production, Managing Director SIDCO, Director HP&M, Director Horticulture, Kashmir, Director Finance Agriculture Production were present in the meeting.

Assuring full support to the private stakeholders, Mr Veeri said those who wish to set up CA Stores in different parts of the State shall be supported by the Government in this endeavour. He said Government is also looking to set up Cold Storage facilities at Sopore, Parimpora, Jablipora, Kulgam in Kashmir and Narwal Jammu. He said in this regard a proposal for sanction of the funds is under active consideration of the Government.

The Minister asked the CA unit holders to provide storage for fruits to the growers at affordable rates. He said a mass awareness drive would be launched about the benefits of using post harvest storage facilities such as CA stores among the growers.

Mr Veeri said the government should also focus on improving grading and packaging of the horticulture produce necessitated by global standards and to fetch better returns for the fruit growers. He said special emphasis would be given to develop grading and packing units in fruit mandis.

The meeting threadbare discussed several issues related to Cold storage unit holders.

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