On 19th January, 2023, a conference was held at PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi, focusing on Innovation and excellence in Cold Chain which highlighted the development of a cold chain process in a sustainable manner in order to maintain the quality, display cost-effective range of products, solutions, technologies and value-added services encompassing, cold storage, refrigeration, ripening chambers, reefer transport, tracking & IoT, packaging, cold storage infrastructure, cold logistics, and cold-chain supply segments. The Cold Chain Support Programme will help national government and states mainstream efficient, renewable, climate friendly cold chain infrastructure and services for horticulture in rural areas.
Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare ; Pawan Jain, Chairman, Logistics Committee, PHDCCI ; Abhilaksh Likhi, Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare ; Priya Ranjan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Asheesh Fotedar, COO, NCCD and; Hemant Jain, Vice President, PHDCCI, were special guests at the conference and lighted the lamp followed by speeches from each one of them.
Another segment of the conference highlighted the common challenges faced by the logistics and cluster development sector and the role of cold chain. The speakers were Sumit Kumar, CEO, TCI Cold Chain Solutions ; Manav Suri, COO, Suri Agro Fresh and; Chirag Jain, Partner, Grant Thornton.
Sumit Kumar said, “It is important that the temperature stays constant (8 degrees) for the vaccines while being transported as the vaccines wouldn’t work if the temperature was to be abused. It is also important to have skilled manpower to operate the vehicles and in our country, there is nearly 20% shortage of drivers.”
Suri Agro Fresh works with many farmers from all over the world for high value fruits and have now diversified their portfolio into processed foods. Manav Suri said, ‘bringing the cluster to the consumers is a challenge on an operational level due to the blocked roads or narrow roads in North India which connects roads to the rest of the country. Other challenges include finding the right manpower locally, maintaining the facilities, power issues etc.”
Chirag Jain said, “30 to 40% of our GDP goes into logistics. To be globally competitive, we need to have multimodal logistics which ensure you are cost competitive. Earlier, In order to import from Russia through sea freight, it used to take 50 days for transport. Now, with the help of multimodal logistics, from Russia, it goes to a port in Iran and then in India. This not only reduces the time by 50% but also reduces the cost by 40% which helps in making our country more efficient in terms of inbound and outbound logistics.”