Post-Harvest Value Chain Management
Two important elements in a cold chain logistics system that play an integral role in managing the supply chain are:
1. Surface storage: Refrigerated warehouse for storage of perishable products.
2. Refrigerated transportation: Transportation of perishable goods by reefer containers, trucks, ships etc.
The CII-Food and Agriculture Center of Excellence is involved in the cold chain sector development and catalyzing investments. The objective is to create awareness about global developments in the sector through the experiences of major players and policy makers and highlight how a paradigm shift can be achieved. Cold Chain Task Force, constituted within CII FACE, is working towards identifying and focusing on specific crops with regard to specific states. The Task Force then works with the stakeholders within the respective states including farmers, farmer organizations, agriculture universities, research centers, state government departments, etc. towards further educating and imparting knowledge on pre- and post-harvest technologies that can help increase crop productivity and reduction of crop loss. The Task Force has worked in the state of Tamil Nadu with banana farmers for the last 6 years. During this period, it has been able to sensitize a large number of farmers in the banana growing belts of Tamil Nadu by conducting farmer stakeholder meetings at Thoothukudi, Thanjavur, Erode and by holding an annual banana festival specifically for Tamil Nadu. The festival has completed three editions, at Chennai, Coimbatore and Trichy. Farmers have given positive feedback on the benefits of these festivals and meetings, and have confirmed that they are able to improve their incomes. Based on a Task Force study and farmers’ meetings, a proposal was given to the state government to establish multi-commodity pack houses with emphasis on banana at different clusters in Tamil Nadu. The state government has included this in its Vision 2023 document, and we understand that consultancy for preparation of DPR for this has been awarded. The most important development has been the formation of a Tamil Nadu banana farmers company during the last edition of the banana festival. The company intends to source the crop from the farmers and share the profits amongst the members, i.e. farmers. CII Task Force plans to further work with the banana farmers towards making Tamil Nadu banana a global brand. The Task Force now intends to start working in Karnataka on pomegranates. A report, ‘Post-Harvest Value Chain Management of Pomegranate in Karnataka’, has been released at the last Cold Chain Summit in Delhi. We are in discussions with various stakeholders including the state government on specific interventions where the Task Force can play a role in Karnataka. A few highlights of the pomegranate report are:
• Karnataka contributes 20% of India’s production of pomegranate, which is mainly grown in the northern and north-eastern parts of state.
• About 1, 50,000 MT is grown in 15,000 hectares, at a productivity of 10 MT/ha.
• In the last 5 years, the area has grown 8.63% and production by 13.12%.
• The local Indian market for pomegranate absorbs about 95% of the production. Thus only about 5% of the production is traded internationally. Most of the Indian market is for fresh fruit, which accounts for about 80% of the production.
• This report explores various products/market possibilities like a) Fresh fruits graded, waxed and packed, b) Arils/grains in tubs (minimally processed): very good potential, c) Juices, widely marketed in different countries, d) Liqueurs, wines and vinegars, e) Dehydrated seeds (anardana), f) Pomegranate extracts for use as cosmetics, food supplements, dietary supplements and nutraceuticals, etc. along with value chain analysis including gaps in processes and post harvest infrastructure. With the above possibilities, the Task Force is working on a ground project, ‘Creating linkages for setting up an integrated pomegranate processing unit’, with the following objectives:
1. Creating a strong brand name for Karnataka pomegranate and processed pomegranate.
2. Impetus to pomegranate processing by steady supply through backward linkage by creation of farmer groups.
3. Better price realisation to farmers through strong forward linkage with private players.