Cold Storage Project Report, Cost and Subsidy:
INTRODUCTION TO COLD STORAGE PROJECT
Post-harvest management of produce is a highly important aspect of farming because all vegetables or fruits that are produced can’t be sold fresh at the same time. Some quantity of produce needs to be stored for further processing or for future table use. Under such circumstances, cold storage becomes an integral aspect of the post-harvest management techniques. The losses that can occur by not storing the produce under proper conditions can be avoided using a cold storage. Storing farmed products enhances their shelf life and also facilitates continuous supply of produce in the market. The cold storage method stabilizes the price of the product, provides equal distribution and marketing of the product. It is being realized that proper and timely storage of produce is an essential factor in the agriculture industry and due importance is given for the same. Research has suggested that the Indian cold storage industry is making a steady growth and the annual growth rate is estimated to be 25.8%. Currently there are 6227 cold stores in India and they are capable of storing a produce of 30 million tonnes. Cold stores are generally used for storing agricultural produce, processed food, animal husbandry produce, pharmaceutical products etc.
CURRENT SCENARIO AND PROBLEMS OF COLD STORAGE PROJECT
India produces large quantities of fruits (11.36%) and vegetables (14.04%) on the global scale, but there is less motivation for storing the produce. Therefore the loss due to inefficient post-harvest management (cold storage) is estimated around 133 billion rupees per year. The present requirement for cold storage facility is around 61 million tonnes in India for both vegetables and fruits, but the availability of storage now in India is just around 26.85 million tonnes. The non-availability of storage space has resulted in loss of productivity, which is increasing gradually. Initially the loss was 25%, but now it has reached 40% of the total production. This loss creates a big difference between the quantities produced and consumed. Originally the average consumption quantity per head should be 120-280 g per day, whereas due to the loss of produce it has decreased to an average consumption quantity of 90-190 g per head in a day. This situation threatens the food and nutrition security of the people in the country.
If the loss occurring due to non-availability of storage (post-harvest management) is analyzed in a broad way, then it is clearly known that all the natural resources involved in the production cycle, such as crop, power, labor, land, water, time, fertilizers etc. are all wasted in the process and such wastage for a developing country like India cannot be tolerated. The availability of gluts helps in storing the harvest of edible products like mango, potato, tomato, etc. in the areas where there is a shortage of storage space.
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Another important factor which contributes to loss of produce is not processing the perishable and highly perishable varieties in a proper way. There are other problems which also account for loss of produce such as high cost of cold storage, improper management, unequal distribution, standalone variety with outdated mechanisms and non-accessibility to farmers located in remote areas. All these problems actually demanded the right action in terms of implementing cold storages which are easily accessible and work at a lower cost, but unfortunately these demands are partially being fulfilled.
THINGS TO BE DONE FOR COLD STORAGE PROJECT
- Proper connectivity by road, drainage facilities and elevation of the site should be considered.
- The land for cold storage should be converted to non-agricultural land.
- The load bearing strength of the soil should be tested and suitable rack design is proposed.
- Permission from the local authority for the construction of cold storage should be taken.
- The product and its market size should be evaluated and properly matched to the capacity of the cold storage.
- The cold storage should be planned in such a way that it does not work more than 12 hours in a day.
- Pressure and vacuum testing of the refrigeration systems is an important aspect of safety.
- Water used in the cold storage area should be soft.
- The people operating the cold storage should be trained on the working and maintenance of the systems.
- Cold storages should always plan for standby equipment.
- The power supply to the cold storage should be provided as per the requirements or an alternate source should be kept ready at hand.
- The cold storages should have alarms, fire extinguishers and fire exits designed properly.
- Insurance for the cold storage plant and its machinery is a precautionary measure which can’t be avoided.
THINGS TO BE AVOIDED IN COLD STORAGE PROJECT
- Cold storages should not be set up in areas which are low lying and have poor road connectivity.
- Agricultural land is not permitted to be used for cold storage construction without conversion into non-agricultural land.
- Soil test for load bearing capacity and design should never be avoided.
- Never set up a cold storage plant without proper estimation
- Avoiding to take permission from the local authorities for the construction may lead to problems.
- Hard water should never be used.
- Safety measures should never be avoided.
- Critical equipment should never be avoided to save expenses.
- Never start a cold storage without proper insurance cover.
- People not trained on the equipment should not be allowed to handle them.
TECHNOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF COLD STORAGE PROJECT
To store a product at a required temperature the refrigeration system within a cold storage plant work on two principles, they are:
Vapor absorption system in the cold storage project: this system is economical and can compensate for the initial investment. It helps conserve energy and operational cost. It has some limitations in storing items or produce below 10˚C.
Vapor compression system in the cold storage project: this is again available in three different types depending on the temperature required in the storage rooms. The diffuser type system is used when the height of the storage room is low. The bunker type system is used when the storage room height is above 11.5 m. The fin coil type system is used for room height above 5.4 m and this is an energy efficient system, but 5% more costly than the other two system types.
The refrigerant is a material which allows the cooling process to happen, i.e. it takes up heat by evaporation (at a lower temperature and pressure) and gives up the heat by condensation (higher temperature and pressure). Freon as a refrigerant is banned and ammonia is being presently used as a refrigerant for cold storages.
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Compressors with high speed reciprocation and atmospheric condensers are used because they are easy to maintain, cost less and are energy efficient.
Equipment for the cold storage should be properly selected such that it can handle heat loads and heavy use during the summer. The capacity of a cold storage to tolerate the heat load depends on its design and therefore the following factors should be considered:
- Fan load.
- Light load.
- Age of the equipment.
- Product load.
- Heat from the stored produce.
- Load of the fresh air charge.
- Heat from the ceiling, walls, floors etc.
There should be proper insulation of the cold storage area and the commonly used material for insulation purpose is thermocouple or poly urethane fiber (PUF). Each part of the cold storage should be insulated with two layers of the material. In areas exposed to the heat of the sun need to be insulated with a material thickness of 100 mm, whereas for other areas 80 mm thick insulation material is enough.
If there is no availability of soft water near the cold storage area, then it is important to incorporate a water softening plant nearby.
A 10 Metric tonne capacity of cold storage has an electric load of 5.9KW and the power supply requirement is around 230 volts/3 phase /50 Hz.
The cold storage room basic design and requirements:
- Cold storage room dimensions: 14 ft x 10 ft x 10 ft.
- The temperature requirement: 4˚C ± 2˚C.
- Humidity of the storage space: 85-90%.
- The outer ambiance temperature is assumed to be: 43˚C.
- Storage materials: vegetables and fruits.
- Capacity of the storage unit: 10 metric tonnes.
- Incoming product load rate: 3300 kg per day.
- Initial Temperature of the produce: 28-35˚C.
- Insulation material: 60 mm PUF.
- Refrigeration capacity: 30000 Btu/hr.
FOOD THAT REQUIRE COLD STORAGE PROJECT FACILITY
The produce form the agricultural and other industries can be categorized into three groups
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat and fish products
- Other commodities like beer, tobacco, khandsari etc.
ECONOMICS OF COLD STORAGE PROJECT OR COST OF COLD STORAGE PROJECT
The assumption of the investment is made in a small area and this may vary depending on the location of the cold storage. The actual cost may deviate from the reality, depending on the availability and demand of materials in the market. The investment shown here is for a 10 MT cold storage.
|MATERIALS REQUIRED FOR COLD STORAGE PROJECT
|INVESTMENT (IN Rs) FOR COLD STORAGE PROJECT
|Cost of 192 sq ft area @ Rs 1000/sq ft
|Electricity supply and stabilizer cost
|Other cost of generators, accessories and plastic crates
|Other miscellaneous costs
|Installation and tax charges
The assistance given by the government is such that 60% of the expenses should be borne by the beneficiary and 40% of the expenses would be given as subsidy to the person.
Therefore, the government pays: Rs 5, 34,800.00 on behalf of the beneficiary.
And the remaining amount of Rs 8, 02,200.00 should be invested by the individual.
The revenue generated depends on the type of product stored in the storage and the cost of storing the item per day.
For e.g. if the store is rented, then there is a possibility of renting charge approximately: Rs 0.75/kg (for 300 days).
Then the revenue generated is: Rs 9, 00,000 annually.
LOANS AND SUBSIDIES FOR COLD STORAGE PROJECT
50% of the total cost and machinery is financed by the Ministry of Food Processing industries. North eastern states receive 75% of the grants.
Cold storage business can also be done with the 80% loan from nationalized bank. If the land is rented, then the loan available is 90% of the total rental cost of the cold storage.
NABARD in association with Reserve Bank of India provides loans for the creation of storage infrastructure of 5000 MT capacity.
The state government of Kerala provides 40% subsidy on the total investment for the cold storage business.
National cooperative development corporation (NCDC) provides financial assistance for building cold storages depending on the project size and its feasibility.
MANAGEMENT OF COLD STORAGE PROJECT
Properly managing the cold storage needs maintaining the temperature, humidity levels, storage bins, trays and containers and mixing the compatible produce.
Temperature control: is important to avoid chilling injury to the produce because each variety of the produce needs different temperature. The maturity of the produce and the point of harvest affect the sensitivity of the produce. The symptoms of chilling injury are:
- Water soak.
- Susceptible to decay.
- Surface lesions.
Mix of storage: storing multiple items together is a complex task because the temperature requirement may be different and also odor transfer and decay due to exposure to ethylene may occur. For e.g. onions, nuts, citrus and potatoes should never be mixed in the storage area.
Stacking: while storing the produce the flow of air and its proper distribution are important. The stacking shelves should be at least 8 cm away from the walls. Storage pallets should have a minimum gap of 4 to 6 inches.
Operation: it is a costly and energy intensive business so it should be handled with care. The lights and fans should be moderately used things such as logbook, inventory and loading should be taken care of.
Hygiene: use of proper Sanitizers, ozone generators and ventilators are highly important to prevent the growth of molds, fungi, odors and carbon dioxide in the cold storage area.
FUTURE PROSPECTS OF COLD STORAGE PROJECT
To address the issue of shortage in cold storages and loss of produce, the government of India is emphasizing on setting up new cold storages and modernizing the techniques used in the existing cold storages through various policies. This enables efficient handling, storage and maintenance of the produce for a longer period of time.
Processing of the surplus fresh produce is highly important for enabling longer shelf life. India is known to process only around 2-4% of the surplus produce when compared to developed nations processing around 40-75% of the produce. Therefore the Government of India has taken initiatives like the 100% FDI for automatic processing of produce and infrastructure planning such as food parks, cold storages and five year tax holiday for newly built processing units with some extra benefits to encourage the storage industry.
Setting up of food parks in the country would enable diverting and diversifying the produce into processed and value added products. This will help reduce the post-harvest loss.
The timely availability of cold storage at an effective cost for both long term and short term are important factors that initiate the idea of schemes and policies. To ensure that the produce from the farm reaches the consumers without any loss, development of the cold chain is proposed and supported by the Mission of Integrated Development of Horticulture under the government of India initiative, where a financial grant of 35-50% of the cost is provided.
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