Haryana is mainly an agricultural state and for some time now the farming community has been facing problems on many fronts requiring the central as well state government to come up with necessary steps to improve their economic condition. Citing the non implementation of MSP and increasing prices of pesticides fertilizers and seeds, agrarian community has been continuously accusing the ruling governments for living them in a state of disparity for a long time. Even though the cold storage industry has made great development, Haryana still has certain issues that need to be resolved.
The absence of adequate cold storage infrastructure in the state›s outlying regions is one of the main problems. An acute shortage of cold storage in the state emerges as huge problem for the farmers , especially those sowing vegetables as it forces the farmers to sale their products on lesser prices and to not get the fair price for their products and crops has also been an issue for a long time. Apart from this, it is often seen that due to lack of proper cold storage infrastructure , farmers are not able to preserve grains, fruits, vegetables and other perishable items for a long time. In view of this, National Horticulture Board (NHB) is implementing a scheme called Capital Investment Subsidy for construction, expansion/modernization of cold storages and warehouses for horticultural produce.
Due to this, farmers are forced to sell their produce in the market at lower prices. There are more than 200 cold storages and more than 500 warehouses in Haryana but their number is less as per requirement. In view of this, the Central Government is providing assistance to the farmers to open cold storage so that the farmers can get benefits by keeping their products safe for a long time.
In view of this, the government is trying to set up as many cold stores as possible so that perishable agricultural products can be properly stored and farmers can get fair prices for them.
According to official figures, there are a total of 206 cold storages in Haryana. Sonipat district of Haryana, adjacent to Delhi, has the maximum number of 81 cold storages, followed by Kurukshetra district which has the maximum number of 35 cold storages. However, as per requirement, more cold storage is required. Apart from these, there are 15 cold storages in Yamunanagar, 30 in Sirsa and Fatehabad, 15 each, 16 in Ambala and Bhiwani, 8 each and 20 in Narnaul, Hisar, Kaithal, Jind and Karnal, 4 each and 3 in Rohtak. Apart from this, there are 4 cold storages, 1 each in Rewari, Nuh, Gurugram and Jhajjar.
Vegetables are cultivated on a large scale in districts like Rohtak, Karnal, and Charkhi Dadri, but non availability of cold storage emerges an obstacle. In such a situation, the farmers have to face problems because due to lack of cold storage, as either the vegetables get spoiled or they have to sell their produce at throwaway prices. Notable there are only 8 cold storages in these three districts, so the problems of the farmers can be easily gauged. In such a situation, there is a need for the government to take steps towards setting up cold storage in these districts with immediate effect. Apart from this, there is good production of vegetables in many districts but even there cold storage is not as per requirement.
Although in many districts there is private cold storage as an option, but due to high rent, farmers do not turn to private cold storage. Vegetables like potato, tomato, carrot, cucumber, gourd, cauliflower, green chilli, spinach, brinjal, bitter gourd are sown in different districts of the state, but due to lack of cold storage, farmers are not able to get fair price for their crops.
Under aforesaid scheme, construction expansion/modernization of cold storage and controlled atmosphere (CA) storage above 5000 MT and up to 10000 MT will be provided at the rate of 35% of the capital cost of the project in general areas and in North Eastern, Hilly and Scheduled Areas. Credit linked bank ended subsidy is available at the rate of 50% in case of areas. In case of North Eastern region, units with capacity above 1000 tonnes are also eligible for assistance.
Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) implements the Scheme for Integrated Cold Chain, Food Processing and Preservation Infrastructure as one of the components of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSKY) aimed at facilitating the harvesting of horticultural and non-horticultural produce.
The aim is to reduce subsequent losses and provide remunerative prices to farmers for their produce. Besides, under the scheme, the Ministry will provide subsidy at the rate of 35% for general areas and 50% for North-Eastern and Himalayan States, ITDP areas and islands for storage and transportation infrastructure and 50% for value addition and processing infrastructure respectively. and provides financial assistance in the form of grants-in-aid at the rate of 75% subject to a maximum grant of Rs 10.00 crore per project for setting up integrated cold chain projects including radiation safety.