Through innovations like individual cold storages, the farmers’ income can be increased
India’s farmers now need not let their farm produce go waste as they will be able to set up their own backyard cold storage units at a meagre cost of Rs 3-4 lakh, according to an expert in the refrigeration industry.
Talking to reporters, Chairman of the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE), Pankaj Dharkar, said, “We have some innovative designs where even a small farmer can set up his or her own cold storage the size of a shipment container.
“This will cost Rs three to four lakh, which is nominal. Such type of technology is available today and this can bring in a drastic change in how we saving the farm produce.”
A typical shipment container measures 7x7x20 cube feet.
According to Dharkar, 30 per cent to 40 per cent of farm produce was wasted for lack of proper refrigeration. “The farmer is at the mercy of the buyer who could also exploit him or her.”
“If the farmer is assured about the safety of the produce, he can get the desired value for the produce. The small-scale cold storage will give them that assurance,” he added.
Dharkar expressed hope that the Rs 25,000-crore refrigeration and air-conditioning industry, mostly comprising air conditioning with a 20 to 22 per cent share, could grow drastically. “There is a great market out there for refrigeration in the country. The agriculture sector badly needs refrigeration. Through innovations like individual cold storages, the farmers’ income can be increased.”
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