Increasing trade of Indian perishables demands robust cool chain

India is one of the top producers of agricultural products, but the country is not one among the top exporters of agricultural produce. The country is the third-largest producer of vegetables but is at 14th for export ranking. India holds the second rank in the production of fruits but is only at 23rd for exports.

This means that India has a tremendous potential to increase the export of perishables from both demand and supply point of view. However, logistics is a key concern not only for the export but also from the domestic perspective. Why? Because it requires a sophisticated and expensive temp-controlled supply chain, particularly for long-distance movements.

On October 8, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his keynote address to Annual Invest India Conference, spoke about the new reforms in the agriculture sector, particularly the three farm bills passed in the parliament, and noted that ‘it will not only give more choice to farmers but will also boost exports’.

He also pointed out that agricultural exports from the country rose 23 percent (in value) from March to June this year under the stringent lockdown conditions. Regarding the government investments into logistics, he said, “we are proactively monetizing assets across sectors like airports, railways, highways and power transmission lines.”

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