The wait was finally over at 9:30 in the morning on November 22. Mahatma Mandir Convention cum Exhibition Centre at Gandhinagar – one of India’s largest such complexes, sprawling over 34 acres – was playing host to the first edition of REFCOLD India. The Convention Centre in the complex was overflowing
with delegates from all over India and several parts of the world – quite a few of them standing – when Chief Guest Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat, entered the hall to inaugurate the event. Over 1200 delegates packed the hall with a seating capacity of 1152.
The traditional lamp of knowledge was lit by Vijay Rupani along with Guest of Honour Parshottam Rupala (Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, Agriculture and Farmer Welfare), Vishal Kapur (Chair – National Steering Committee for REFCOLD 2018), Pankaj Dharkar (Chair – REFCOLD 2018), C. Subramaniam (ISHRAE National President) and other dignitaries. In his inaugural address, Vijay Rupani highlighted the importance of a robust cold chain to achieve the Prime Minister’s target of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022. He spoke about the progress made by Gujarat in the recent past. Gujarat needs an integrated cold chain so as to capitalise on its strategic advantage of having the largest coastline in the country, with 44 ports. He announced plans to expand the state’s cold storage capacity for farm produce and fruits to 30 lakh metric tonnes, and emphasised the need to use Green energy, such as solar and wind energy, in cold storages. Expressing his best wishes for the successof REFCOLD, he welcomed the delegates.
The dignitaries proceeded to the Exhibition Halls for a walk-through. They were particularly impressed by the exhibits displayed in the Innovation Hub, and sought details of some of them. Thus, the stage was set for ISHRAE’s ambitious new venture – REFCOLD India, an international exhibition and conference on cold chain, industrial refrigeration and reefer transportation – to get off the runway. Co-organised by NürnbergMesse India, it was a feast spread over three days for the refrigeration and cold chain professional. The menu offered Seminars, Workshops, an Awards Night, an Entrepreneurs Conclave, a Business Summit, a Global Student Poster Competition, an Innovation Hub and over a hundred stalls exhibiting state-of-theart products and technologies. The icing on the cake was the huge networking opportunity that the event presented.
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