The Odisha state government Wednesday admitted in the Assembly that around 62 per cent of the existing cold storages in the state are defunct. According to a written reply submitted by Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Minister Arun Sahoo, there are 128 cold storages in the state of which 80 (62.5 per cent) are defunct.
Sahoo also told the House that the state government has been extending its support to the growth of these cold storage units managed by private players. The minister boasted of the 55 per cent capital incentive given by the government for setting up of such centres up to Rs 22 mln (€286,000).
The reply of the minister comes at a time when the cold storage operators are mad at the government for not extending required support to the cold storage units and not agreeing to their long pending demands. The cold storage operators had recently staged agitation to press for fulfilment of their demands.
The Cold Storage Association of Odisha claimed that the much hyped Potato Mission of the state government has failed and as a result the whole cold storage system has come to the verge collapse.
According to an article on orissapost.com¸ they have been demanding subsidy in investment, electricity and other assistance at discounted rates, boosting potato production research, making available quality seeds from the storages while also adopting to some of the cold storage policies of other governments like that of West Bengal.