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Growth of More Than 10 Percent Expected for Cold Chain in India

The Indian cold chain sector, which is currently grappling with such issues concerning the quality of food products and food safety maintenance has realized the necessity of faster development, and could grow at the rate of 10 percent to 15 percent per annum in the next five to 10 years, according to Arvind Surange, chief consultant and proprietor, ACR Project Consultants Pvt. Ltd.

"A large number of cold storage projects, located in different parts of the country, are based on old and inefficient technology. The user industry would expect modern plants with more automation, mechanized operations and more hygienic operating conditions at the cold chain units," he said.

India is the world's largest producer of fruit and the second-largest producer of vegetables.

"India is also the largest producer of milk, with 105 million tonne per year. It produces 6.5 million tonne meat and poultry and 6.1 million tonne fish. However, the extent of processing is low," said Vikas Upadhyay, assistant director, product management and marketing, Carrier India.

"Cold chain has been a major driving force in the entire perishable food sector. This is due to the fact that India is a major producer of perishable foods. The overall perishable food production in India is over 350m tonne," Surange said.

He added that the current food processing capacity is less than six percent of the production, and the cold storage capacity is about eight per cent of the production. "This shows that there is a great potential for growth," he said.

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