Chief Advisor & CEO, National Centre for Cold Chain Development (NCCD)
REFCOLD 2019 – Foreword
For more than a decade, ISHRAE has been the mainstay and trend setter for the cold-chain sector, with multiple stakeholders, ranging from industry, trade, farmers, technologists and policy makers making up the ISHRAE family. Many others have tried to emulate ISHRAE in varying degrees; however, the stakeholders’ loyalty to ISHRAE has only increased with time.
Initiated as an exhibition of technologies, ISHRAE has evolved to integrate an exchange of ideas, concerns and solutions in the cold-chain. If this ISHRAEy-hot trend continues, it could progress into a unique platform for thought leaders to interact in post-harvest management and cold-chain.
Though agriculture is the world’s oldest solar powered production system, modern day technologies have not always leveraged this fact. However, coldchain technologies can correct this situation, as they ensure the most sensitive outputs from farms go through relevant post-harvest interventions and reach gainful end-use, instead of wastefully translating into debilitating green-housegases. Cold-chain is a compound noun, expressing a concept that incorporates multiple logistical processes across various parameters of post-production care – ISHRAE has been an important partner in propagating a mind-set change, and such shifts in the thinking process help to bring innovation and relevance in this domain.
India is taking cold-chain very seriously, and this has also manifested in the 2018 Union Budget announcements that reflected the recommendations put forth by the Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income. Unique among them is the provision to build GrAMs (village level agri-markets) which will double as aggregation and pre-conditioning hubs to prepare the fresh produce to enter the cold-chain. Additionally, large funds are allocated to upgrade the infrastructure for livestock, fisheries and dairy sectors. A modern supply chain in all these domains will require the cold-chain as its backbone. Food processing industries also require cold-chain connectivity for some of their production. In these cases too, cold-chain is being strongly supported by the government. The Prime Minister’s vision that targets doubling of farmers’ income is a clarion call to bring about an Income Revolution in agriculture, very distinct from past green revolutions that only focused on production. This Income Revolution will find the cold-chain as its most able enabler.
I once again laud ISHRAE on their continued perseverance in bringing thecold-chain community together. I wish REFCOLD 2019 even greater success.
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