Industry expert, Swarup Bose, Founder & CEO of Celcius Logistics shares his expectations for the upcoming budget. He says, ” The Indian cold supply chain industry has rapidly grown, especially post-COVID. In 2021, the Indian cold chain logistics market was valued at $24.62 Billion, and it is expected to reach $53.07 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 13.66% from 2021 to 2027. However, currently, the cold supply chain sector is highly fragmented and marred with severe challenges, leading to the wastage of 40% of the over 400 million MT of perishable food! And according to the Associated Chamber of Commerce, our post-harvest losses amount to a whopping $14bn.”
He adds, “While there has been a strong focus by the government on Logistics as a sector, a renewed and closer look at Cold Supply Chain would benefit in cutting losses and improving the hunger index while also empowering agriculture, food & dairy and process food sectors, along with pharma and healthcare.
Listed here are a few points that, if considered in the Union Budget 2023-24, would go a long way in creating a robust, seamless and effective cold supply chain network:
1. Capital support/ FDI for technology adoption: The huge capital investment required for digital adoption in the cold supply chain sector, is a massive challenge. With provisions for FDI and capital support, it will be easier to bring in the best in tech innovations that can be applied across the cold supply chain and truly empower all stakeholders to embrace smart tech.
2. Tax holidays/ subsidies for critical Cold Storage: Temperature-controlled warehousing is an investment intensive yet one of the most crucial aspects of the cold supply chain and a lot of logistic service providers/ farmers/ intermediary stakeholders end up compromising on product quality due to lack of access to efficient cold storage. Subsidies focused on the unique cold storage needs for sectors like fresh foods, dairy, meat, and other frozen and processed food as well as pharma products and intermediaries would go a long way.
3. Public-Private Partnerships for Agriculture cold supply chains: A country battling high hunger rates cannot afford to lose 40% of its food to logistics issues. Healthy Public Private Partnerships can help easier access to effective cold supply chain infrastructure which can help farmers and the government to drive efficient food distribution and improved quality of produce.”