Ranchi, July 10: Chief Minister Hemant Soren has directed for construction of cold storage and cold rooms in all the 24 districts to avoid spoilage of fruits, vegetables and other products to boost income of farmers who are tapping into cultivation of fruits and vegetables apart from paddy.
Chief Minister as part of measure to increase income and prosperity of farmers has made an effort to touch the different aspects and take measures which will benefit the food producers of Jharkhand. During field visits, the Chief Minister came to know that the farmers of Jharkhand are now showing interest in the cultivation of fruits and vegetables. In many districts, farmers are involved in the production of pears, tomatoes, vegetables and minor forest produce. This has increased the income of farmers and the production of fruits and vegetables has also increased in the state. Taking this into account, to avoid spoilage of fruits, vegetables and other products, the Chief Minister has planned the construction of cold storage and cold rooms in different districts. In the present-day in Jharkhand, a large group of farmers are involved in the production of vegetables and fruits etc. But due to lack of cold room and cold storage, they often find it difficult to store their produce. Any delay in getting their produce to the market causes damage to the products. This causes great loss to the farmers. Apart from this, many times the agricultural produce get spoiled due to bad weather conditions. Therefore, the state government has taken the initiative to address this problem of the farmers and find a long-term sustainable solution.
In the different blocks (260 blocks across the state) where the production of fruits, vegetables, minor forest produce, and such agricultural products is high, one cold room of 30 metric ton capacity would be constructed in all such blocks. These cold rooms will be operated through LAMPS/PACS and primary fruit-vegetable producers cooperative societies. The draft manual for the operation of the cold room and cold storage operation has been prepared. These will be operated by The Jharkhand State Tribal Cooperative Vegetable Marketing Federation (Vegfed).
To provide relief to the farmers, a proposal to build 60 mini cold rooms is also ready. To create an efficient and sustainable system, these mini cold rooms will be powered by solar energy, which will also reduce the cost of operation. In this way, cold storage and the cold room can be used by farmers to store their fruits and vegetables. The state government aims to provide storage facilities to the farmers so that they can keep their products safe for a longer period and sell them in the markets. With this, farmers will be able to get the right price for their produce and fruits and vegetables will be available in the market for a longer time. The government has also come forward to ensure that farmers do not face any problem in storing paddy, wheat and other agricultural produce. Godowns(Warehouses) are being constructed in various panchayats of the state. Many Godowns have been built, while a large number of them are under construction.
Farmers in the panchayats are assisted in agricultural work through LAMPS and PACS. The number of LAMPS in the state is 2024 and the number of PACS is 2374. The total number of LAMPS, PACS and Vyapar Mandals in the state is 4478. Warehouses are also being constructed in their offices. So far, 1324 warehouses, under different LAMPS, PACS and Vyapar Mandals have been constructed. In this financial year (2021-2022), the government plans to construct a warehouse cum marketing centre cum drying yard of 100 MT capacity in LAMPS/PACS at the block level. A proposal for the construction of 100 warehouses, each with a capacity of 500 MT has been sent to the department.
Keeping in view, the paddy procurement, manure seed business, and storage of minor forest produce , about 2 lakh tonnes of additional storage capacity will be required . For which it is proposed to construct 2000 warehouses, each with a capacity of 100 metric tonnes. Drying yards will also be constructed with each godown so that moisture-rich food grains and forest produce can be dried in LAMPS/PACS. According to the progress status shared by the state agriculture department, Around1269 warehouses of 100 MT capacity in various LAMPS/PACS and Vyapar Mandal have been completed while 350 are under construction, there is a proposal to construct 2,000 warehouses which makes a total of 3619 warehouses across Jharkhand.
Apart from the above, the construction of 38 warehouses of 200 MT capacity is completed. One warehouse of 300 MT capacity, two warehouses of 400 MT capacity, 13 warehouses of 500 MT capacity, while 100 godowns are proposed and one warehouse of 3,000 MT capacity is ready.
Due to the farmer-friendly policies and schemes of the Jharkhand government and the hard work of the farmers, agricultural production has increased significantly. But due to the lack of storage systems, the farmers’ agricultural produce used to get wasted. Now farmers will not have to bear the losses when Cold storage, Cold rooms and Godowns are being made for the storage of farm produce. This will benefit both the farmers and the state.