No. PR- 080
June 30, 2021
J& K agri sector an economic powerhouse speakers at PHDCCI program spell out business opportunities
For the sustainable economic development of the region there is a need to focus on few critical factors i.e Geography and Climate; Infrastructure; the policies & execution framework. In the case of J&K, it is not the Manufacturing sector but Agriculture, Horticulture, poultry, dairy, and business setup are the core areas for economic development, mentioned Mr. Navin Choudhary, IAS, Principal Secretary, Animal and Sheep Husbandry and Agriculture Production & Farmers Welfare and Horticulture Department J&K in a session organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) on “The Future of Cold Chain Industry in J&K- Challenges, Trends, Opportunities, and Way Forward”.
Mr. Navin Choudhary mentioned the Department has been majorly focusing on increasing production by adopting high yielding cropping culture, high-density farming techniques, and supporting the setups of controlled atmosphere (CA) stores in the region. He stressed the need for value addition and the importance of food processing of the fruit produce of the region which has a lot of potential in the export markets.
Emphasizing the need for cold storage Mr. Choudhary informed that the government is offering subsidies for setting up CA stores in the region and invited the industry to take maximum advantage of it by actively investing in cold storage business in the region and beyond. He highlighted that other than storage and distribution, the cold chain operators will be provided value-added services like order processing, kitting, packaging, sorting, grading, etc. to create new revenue streams while addressing the need for skill development and training of the workforce involved in cold chain sector.
He informed about the various schemes offered for the nursery development, trout fisheries, domestic air shipment of fruits, and sustainable packaging of fruits.
Dr. R Sharma, Agribusiness Specialist in his theme address, presented the overall scenario of Cold chain Infrastructure in the region and informed that there were immense opportunities in the cold chain sector in J&K as energy-efficient technology was available for making the best use of the current schemes and expertise in establishing the facilities. He emphasized greater investment in roads, industrial area development, seamless movement of cargo, and greater coordination with the state electricity board to deal with storage of power supply.
Shri Surinder Singh, AGM, NABARD highlighted the financing opportunities and avenues available through NABARD, mentioned that there was a warehouse infrastructure fund available with the bank on the nominal rate of interest and, NABARD would be able to provide finance to such individuals who wish to establish a cold storage unit.
Mr. Vishesh Mahajan, Director Horticulture Planning and Marketing (J&K) while listing the governmental schemes available to investors, apprised that there are ample avenues available for businesses and farmers in tapping the immense business opportunities in the sector and that the cold chain sector had big prospects in enhancing livelihood opportunities for farmers in J&K.
Mr. Ajaz Ahmad Bhat, Director-General Horticulture Department Kashmir, while sharing his personal experience mentioned cold storage facilities provide are opportunities for better quality and earnings for the farmers. He also stressed raising investment and more marketing in the sector.
Mr. Ashu Verma from Infra Cool Company discussed the work and projects done by their company in creating world-class infrastructure comparable to advanced countries like the USA, Europe & Australia.
Mr. Elyas Kraipak, CEO, Opportunity Kashmir shared that while there are immense opportunities for youth for business and livelihood in the area, there was also a need for closely following the price dynamics and sustainability in the sector.
Mr. Viney Khunger, MD, Carrier Commercial Refrigeration mentioned that Kashmir had an important edge in the production of pears, peaches, apples, and walnuts. “However there is a big scope for quality improvement, marketing, and branding. The Washington apple is being sold at a higher price than the apple produced in India. It is because of their effective cold chain”, he said, adding that reliable electricity availability was a challenge in J&K.
Listing out the opportunities and the current challenges for the investors in the sector, Mr. Maajid Wafai, President, Jammu & Kashmir Fruits & Vegetables Processing and Integrated Cold Chain Association (JKPICCA) appreciate the efforts that have gone into establishing the current cold chain infrastructure in J&K.
Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, Mentor PHDCCI Kashmir chapter deliberated on the importance of horticulture & Agriculture in the UT of J&K that is the core sector of the region.
Mr. Baldev Singh Raina, Chair, PHDCCI Kashmir chapter in his keynote address stated that in the horticulture sector of the Jammu and Kashmir state, the production of apple has proved to be the most important fruit crop. He discussed the challenges faced by the farmers owing to the lack of Cold chain infrastructure in the region.
Mr. Hakim Khalid, President, Kashmir Chamber of Horticulture and Agriculture discussed the innovative techniques that are required for better quality production. He also discussed the role of research in the growth of the apple industry.
Mr. Pankaj Mehta, MD, Carrier Transicold, India & South Asia opined that the paucity of cold stores in J&K was hitting the Kashmir apple economy. He emphasized a more efficient supply chain for apples in J&K – right from the source to precooling to transport to processing to shipping, and, finally, retail. There is a need to focus on green refrigerants and reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.
Mr. Rahul Sahai, Chair, PHDCCI Jammu Chapter while delivering concluding remarks and proposing the formal vote of thanks appreciated the schemes and progressive activities of UT of J&K for the development of cold storage Infrastructure and overall development of the Horticulture sector of the region. He also stated that the PHDCCI J&K chapter would like to closely work with the Department of Horticulture for organising such interactive and informative sessions for the benefit of Industry members.
The session witnessed the participation of Mr. Rakesh Wazir, Mentor, PHDCCI Jammu chapter and was moderated by Mr. Naveen Seth, Assistant Secretary-General, PHDCCI, and was attended by over 250 industry stalwarts. PHDCCI’s session was supported by Infra Cool, Frick India, Fresh India Show, National Agricultural Higher Education project, DLF India; Multani Pharmaceuticals; UFLEX; JK Tyre & Industries; Marble City; Paramount Cables; SMC Investments and Advisors; Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic; Comtech Interio; DCM Shriram Industries; Radico Khaitan; Ajit Industries; Synergy Environics; Timberworkz; P S Bedi & Co; and IFFCO.
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry