72 percent of India’s fruit, vegetable produce goes waste

May 12th, 2008 - 7:32 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) About 72 percent of the fruit and vegetable production in India goes waste because of lack of proper retailing and adequate storage capacity, an agriculture ministry official said here Monday. P.K. Mishra, secretary in the ministry’s department of agriculture and co-operation, said so while was speaking at a Fruit and Vegetable Summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“The production of vegetables in India is next only to China. The vegetable and fruit production contributes more than 30 percent of the agriculture GDP. The crop diversification has led to rise in horticulture production, which has reached 185.2 billion tonnes last year,” Mishra pointed out.

“But the real challenge starts after the production. More than 72 percent of the vegetable and fruits are wasted in the absence of proper retailing,” Mishra said.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said there were quite a few constraints in the sector.

“The sector is constrained by widespread fragmentation in the supply chain, low productivity levels, and huge post harvest losses arising out of inadequate storage, cold chain and transport infrastructure, logistics and supply chain management,” Pawar said.

“Only organised and traditional retailing will ultimately drive the growth of the fruits and vegetable sector in the country,” he added.

The minister said that despite different types of fruits and vegetables grown, India’s export of agricultural and food products was only 1.4 percent of the total global trade.

Pawar also called for an appropriate policy support for the growth of retail chains for fruits and vegetables in the country.

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