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No Benefit in Restoring 97 Obsolete Cold Storages in Odisha, says Agriculture Minister

Odisha agriculture minister Ranendra Pratap Swain told the state parliament on March 29 that restoring the state's 97 dead cold storages would be futile. He claims that the cost of reviving cold storage is the same as the cost of building a new one.

Shivam Dwivedi
Sambalpur district has the most cold storages, with six, followed by five in Khurda
Sambalpur district has the most cold storages, with six, followed by five in Khurda

There were 18 defunct cold storages in Khurda district followed by 13 in Cuttack, 11 in Puri, eight in Mayurbhanj, six each in Balasore, Sundargarh and Jagatsinghpur, four each in Bargarh and Koraput, three in Balangir, two each in Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal, and Keonjhar, one each in Angul, Bhadrak, Boudh, Gajapati, Rayagada and Sambalpur.

The Sambalpur district has the most cold storages, with six, followed by five in Khurda, three in Cuttack and Koraput, two in Balasore, Balangir, Mayurbhanj, and Puri, and one in Angul, Bargarh, Bhadrak, Ganjam, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, and Sundargarh.

The minister stated that the state government is providing a 70% subsidy to small and marginal farmers for the establishment of Subjee Coolers with a capacity of 100kg for the storage of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. This programme began in the current fiscal year.

Furthermore, according to Swain, the government provides incentives to entrepreneurs for the building of cold storages through the Directorate of Horticulture. It provides a subsidy of 55% or up to Rs 2.2 crore for non-scheduled areas (normal) and 70% or up to Rs 2.8 crore for scheduled areas (tribal).

There are possibilities for providing subsidies to agro entrepreneurs ranging from 55% to 70% for the establishment of cool rooms for the short-term preservation of fruits and vegetables. According to the minister's announcement, this subsidy is 50% for small farmers. He stated that the state government had taken the necessary efforts to establish solar cold rooms at the panchayat level throughout the state.

To ramp up this activity, the state began taking efforts this year to provide subsidies for the establishment of 1,000 tiny cool rooms throughout the state. Entrepreneurs can seek for this incentive by presenting an application to the horticulture officers or deputy directors, he noted.

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