Steps Taken to Reduce Post Harvest Food Losses

Steps Taken to Reduce Post Harvest Food Losses 

The  Government has got a study done on “Assessment of Quantitative Harvest and Post-Harvest Losses of Major Crops and Commodities in India” by ICAR - Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana. The study was commissioned in 2012 and the final report submitted on 31.03.2015. The study has estimated that annual value of harvest and post-harvest losses of major agricultural produces at national level was of the order of Rs. 92,651 crore calculated using production data of 2012-13 at 2014 wholesale prices. The percentage of post-harvest losses as assessed by the study is as under:

Cumulative wastage (%)
4.65 – 5.99
6.36 – 8.41
Oil Seeds
3.08 – 9.96
Fruits & Vegetables
4.58 – 15.88
Fisheries (Inland)
Fisheries (Marine)

It has been the endeavor of the Government to promote food processing industry in the country to reduce wastage of agricultural produce and minimize post- harvest losses.  With the above in view, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries(MoFPI) is implementing various Central Sector Schemes, namely (i) Scheme for Development of Infrastructure for Food Processing having components of Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure and Modernization of Abattoirs and (ii) Scheme for Quality Assurance, Codex Standards, Research & Development and Other Promotional Activities.

            In order to arrest post harvest losses of horticulture & non-horticulture produce and to provide integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure facilities from the farm gate to the consumer or from the production site to the market, MoFPI is implementing the Central Sector Scheme of Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure since 2008-09. The scheme is primarily private sector driven wherein financial assistance @ 50% of the total cost of plant & machinery and technical civil works in general areas and 75% for NE region and difficult areas (North Eastern states, Sikkim, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand) subject to a maximum grant-in-aid of Rs. 10 Crore per project is provided for setting up the cold chain infrastructure in the country. Integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure can be set up by individuals, groups of entrepreneurs, cooperative societies, Self Help Groups (SHGs), Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), NGOs, Central/State PSUs, etc. Ministry has approved 135 Cold Chain projects in the country to reduce the cold chain gap.

            In addition, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industries are also providing assistance for setting up cold storages under their respective schemes.

Various other incentives provided by the Government to promote creation of  cold chain infrastructure are as below:

·        Services of pre-conditioning, pre-cooling, ripening, waxing, retail packing, labeling of fruits and vegetables have been exempted from Service Tax in Budget 2015-16.

·        Loans to food & agro-based processing units and Cold Chain have been classified under Agriculture activities for Priority Sector Lending (PSL) as per the revised RBI Guidelines issued on 23/04/2015.

·        Under Section 35-AD of the Income tax Act 1961, deduction to the extent of 150% is allowed for expenditure incurred on investment for (i) setting up and operating a cold chain facility; and (ii)  setting up and operating warehousing facility for storage of agricultural produce.  

·        Government has extended Project Imports benefits to cold storage, cold room (including for farm level pre-cooling) or industrial projects for preservation, storage or processing of agricultural, apiary, horticultural, dairy, poultry, aquatic and marine produce and meat. Consequently, all goods related to Food Processing, imported as part of the project, irrespective of their tariff classification, would be entitled to uniform assessment at concessional basic customs duty of 5%.

·        Refrigeration machineries and parts used for installation of  cold storage, cold room or refrigerated vehicle, for the preservation, storage, transport or processing of agricultural, apiary, horticultural, dairy, poultry, aquatic and marine produce and meat under Tariff Head: Chapter 84 are exempted from Excise Duty. 

·        Construction, erection, commissioning or installation of original works pertaining to post-harvest storage infrastructure for agricultural produce including cold storages for such purposes are exempted from Service tax.

·        Capital investment in the creation of modern storage capacity has been made eligible for Viability Gap Funding scheme of the Finance Ministry. Cold chain and post-harvest storage has been recognized as an infrastructure sub-sector.

This information was given by Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.


Status of Food Processing Industry in Maharashtra 

The status of Food Processing Industries in Maharashtra as per Annual Survey of Industries 2012-13 is as follows:

% to All India
No. of registered Food Processing Industries
Fixed Capital (Rs. in crore)
Employment (Persons)
Gross Value Added (Rs. in crore)

As per a recent study by NABARD submitted to Government of Maharashtra, less than 1.2 percent of fruits and vegetables are processed. Out of the total yield, 60 percent vegetables and 70 percent fruits are consumed fresh. The report further states that despite being the leading state in the Agro Industry, Maharashtra, with 1 lakh metric ton processing capacity, falls well below the required capacity by International Standards.

Government has approved setting-up of 4 Mega Food Parks in Maharashtra out of which 2 are functional. It is expected that 25-30 Food Processing units would be set-up in functional Mega Food Parks. Government has also assisted 27 Cold Chain Projects in Maharashtra out of which 17 have been completed and others are in advanced stage of completion. Government has further assisted setting-up of 545 units and released Rs. 7772.8 lakhs as grant-in-aid since April, 2012 till date. Government has also set-up a corpus of Rs. 2000.00 crores with NABARD for providing concessional credit to Mega Food Park, Designated Food Parks and units to be set-up therein.

This information was given by Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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