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    Perishable truck drivers get a lifeline

  • Date : 11 September, 2014

    Home to world's second largest basket of fruits and vegetables, India wastes an enormous amount every year because of lack of adequate and effective storage. Some of this could be addressed, thanks to an initiative by National Centre for Cold Chain Development (NCCD). On Thursday, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched the Reefer Vehicle Call-in-centre (RVC), which is designed to facilitate smoother transportation of perishable goods and to address the challenges faced by reefer van operators on highways. 

    The RVC is a joint initiative by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, National Centre for Cold-chain Development (NCCD) and Mahindra Logistics. The RVC will serve as a single point telephonic contact for recording all forms of in-transit bottlenecks during transport of perishables.

    Chief Advisor and CEO of NCCD Pawanexh Kohli highlighted the need for good connectivity and speed in transportation of perishable produce. He informed that the toll free call-in facility will be available to all transport operators of horticultural, pharmaceutical, livestock, dairy and other refrigerated goods. The call-in-centre can be reached through a toll free number (18002676223) where grievances of truck drivers and transport operators transporting perishable goods can be registered.

    Launching the unique call-in- centre, Singh said "The cold chain sector is fast growing, and key products including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, confectionery and pharmaceuticals are critically dependent on it. An essential link between source and markets is refrigerated transport, which face several bottlenecks and challenges. The RVC will help crate a database of bottlenecks and their types across the national highways. The response generated from this exercise will help devise long term plans and policies to alleviate bottlenecks and thus control inflation in prices of perishable goods in the country."

    He further added that RVC would provide help in registering the complaints of more than 30,000 vehicles carrying perishable goods like vegetables and fruits. Complaints may include extortion, transit delays, harassment, etc. The Toll-Free number of the Call-in-centre will provide Reefer vehicle truck drivers, transporters and cargo companies the opportunity to record their in-transit complaints on in-transit delays. In case of any disruption to their movements, the drivers can call-up the Toll-Free Number and the centre shall place the details on record.

    Singh further added that interspersed with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of introducing e-governance measures, particularly in the agriculture sector, this call-in-centre will help in enhancing overall productivity by improving connectivity. India produces about 270 million tonnes of fruits and vegetables and there are about 8000 refrigerated trucks capable of total cargo throughout capacity of 3.6 million tonnes, he added. 

    These call-in-centre will  also allow stakeholders to express their concerns on the highways for records and participate with NCCD to develop interventions that will facilitate quicker movement of Reefer cargoes across the country. Such facilitation shall greatly contribute to minimise wastage due to delays in transportation of perishable goods, particularly those carrying fruits, vegetables, fish and meat.

    India loses fresh produce worth Rs 13,300 crore every year because of country's lack of adequate cold storage facilities and refrigerated transport, according to data compiled in a report by Emerson Climate Technologies India, a business of the US-based manufacturing and technology company Emerson.


    Neha Gandhi 

    neha.gandhi1991@gmail.com

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

 















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EDITOR'S NOTE

19 Jan 2016

Crop insurance scheme brings cheers

In view of the growing volatility in the agriculture sector caused by vagaries of nature as well as market fluctuations, it is heartening to see the new Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)