Cold storage in Humnabad to boost exports

Minister for Agriculture S A Ravindranath told the media here on Friday that the project was also aimed at checking the loss of fruits and vegetables at the farms due to lack of proper storage facilities.  "Karnataka is a major producer of fruits and vegetables, but its exports account for just seven percent of the country's total export output, mainly due to post-harvest losses for lack of pack house cold storage facilities," Ravindranath said.

To address the problem, the Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Limited (KAPPEC), which sets up integrated cold storages in the State, has approached the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the central agency which sanctions storage projects.  Accepting KAPPEC's proposal, APEDA sanctioned Rs 6.53 crore out of 8.04 crore required for the project. The remaining sum of Rs 1.51 crore will have to be pumped in by the KAPPEC. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to the effect was signed by Ravindranath and APEDA Chairman Asit Tripathy.

According to the Minister, the facility will have a pack house, washing, grading, waxing line, two pre-cooling units (of 6 metric tonnes capacity each), four export cold rooms (will handle 50 metric tonnnes each), three commercial cold storage rooms and a reefer van.

Bidar produces 36,941 tonnes of grapes, pomegranates, mango, banana, and lime annually. Further, it also produces 1,21,028 tonnes of tomatoes, cabbage, onion, cauliflower, etc every year. The project would result in a minimum increase of 500 metric tonnes in the export of pomegranates and grapes, the Minister hoped.

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