India has a huge opportunity to become a global leader in feeding the world, if she is able to strengthen her supply chain systems. Lack of demand estimation and technology applications, such as refrigerated logistics and product tracking, impede a great degree of our potential. Our current supply chains, which connect farmers to organised and unorganised retail, are highly inefficient with several intermediaries and manual handling, which is one of the main contributors to wastage. Demand-driven agriculture led by transportation and storage facilities, processing infrastructure, better information about the flow of products from producers to consumers, and transparency in the marketing system and supply chain would surely ensure reduction in losses and supply of fresh and quality produce to the consumers. Private investment needs to be invited on a massive scale to upgrade and build large storage and warehousing systems that are climate-resilient. Given the Government’s priority for doubling farmers’ income, it is clear that India needs to move from a supply-led revolution to a concerted effort in creating capacities and efficiencies in its networks from farm to markets. Considering the importance of the sector, and to develop a roadmap for the creation of a robust agri-value supply chain, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) – in association with the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Ministry of Agriculture, and National Centre for Cold-chain Development (NCCD) – organized the National Post Harvest and Logistics
Summit on September 25 in New Delhi.
The Summit was an attempt to understand and deliberate on:
• Role of demand driven agriculture in mitigating losses and creating a stable agri supply chain.
• Understand policy innovations in cold chain at state and central govt level.
• Understand the transformation in traditional agriculture supply chains across various allied sectors.
The Summit was inaugurated by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries. In her inaugural address, she highlighted that the Ministry is in the process of creating a non-banking financial institution that would not onlylend to the food processing sector but provide other services such as capacity building, risk assessment, sensitizing banks, and research and development, to give an impetus to the sector and enable it to grow at a much faster pace. She also mentioned that Mission Green, which focuses on tomato, onion and potato, would be rolled out as a pilot, initially in identified clusters. Dr. Ashok Dalwai, Chief Executive Officer, National Rainfed
Area Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, emphasized the need for demand and supply synchronization for the agri supply chain so that agri-commodities are produced and distributed in the right quantities, to the right locations, and at the right time. Addressing the summit, T. Nanda Kumar – Senior Visiting Fellow, ICRIER, Former Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Past Chairman, National Dairy Development Board – mentioned that rapid urbanization and changing consumer preferences give a huge opportunity to transform the existing models into modern and innovative models.
Other dignitaries present during the Summit included P. K. Swain, Joint Secretary (Marketing)-cum-Agricultural Marketing Adviser to the Government of India; Dr. M. Ariz Ahammed, Managing Director, National Horticulture Board; Parag Gupta, Joint Secretary, MoFPI; Dr. D. S. Gangwar, Additional Secretary, MoFPI: and Pawanexh Kohli, CEO, NCCD. Senior representatives from the state governments of Maharashtra and Haryana shared the initiatives and efforts that have been undertaken by the states to bring about innovations in supply chain models across states.
During the summit, CII’s commitment to strengthen the development of post-harvest and logistics infrastructure in the country was reiterated. CII has also been working to build a strong service portfolio in post-harvest and logistics, and will continue to engage in training and capacity building activities and developing post-harvest management protocols as avenues for strengthening crop-specific cold chain infrastructure.
• Allied sector is paving the way for transforming the Indian agriculture supply chain, and learnings from these can be replicated in fresh horticulture sector as well.
• Adoption of right post-management systems and technological innovations are of utmost importance to create a demand driven stable supply chain, which will ensure a win-win situation for both producers and consumers.
• Public private partnership in creating viable business models is a key to sustainable agriculture
The summit served as a platform for all the stakeholders, and witnessed over 150 delegates from Government organizations, state government representatives from Haryana and Maharashtra, academicians from renowned universities, private players from top food processing companies, cold chain equipment manufacturers, logistics players and embassies.
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