Feeding One Billion People: Revamping India’s Cold Chain
Despite being one of largest producers of fresh fruits and vegetables in the world, India loses 40% of its harvests to inefficient storage. Rising temperatures have intensified the need for efficient cold storage.
CLASP co-hosted a workshop with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and the Bihar Renewable Development Agency (BREDA) to promote energy efficiency in the cold chain sector. The event brought together government agencies, cold chain manufacturers, technology providers, and other stakeholders to showcase new technologies and map opportunities to improve food security for more than one billion people.
“The Bureau of Energy Efficiency has taken proactive steps to advance energy-efficient practices in the cold chain sector through various initiatives and is committed to supporting states in their efforts as well.” noted Arijit Sengupta, Director – BEE
Key highlights from the event include:
- Khagesh Chaudhary from BREDA, highlighted the role of the state government in promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in the cold chain industry.
- The Bureau of Energy Efficiency inviteds State Designated Agencies to submit proposals that demonstrate innovative and energy-efficient cold chain technologies.
- BEE is developing guidelines for design and construction of energy-efficient cold chain facilities, which will include standards for refrigeration equipment, insulation, and lighting.
- Gerry George from AEEE observed that it is crucial to emphasize the need for consistent maintenance and monitoring to maintain the facility’s energy efficiency over time.
- The benefits of optimizing refrigeration systems and integrating renewable energy sources was echoed by Vikash Kumar from Jitban who voiced the supply side of the industry.
- More recently established start-ups such as New Leaf Dynamics and Ecozen demonstrated innovative solutions that are transforming India’s farms today. These include a biomass-based cold chain solution, a renewable option that can be installed at farm gates or rural areas that are otherwise inaccessible to the electricity grid.
“The significance of energy efficiency in the cold chain industry cannot be overstated, and it is essential that all stakeholders come together to make this a reality.” – Bishal Thapa, Sr. Director – CLASP
Scaling access to efficient cold chain in India requires collaboration and innovation. The workshop encouraged dialogue between manufacturers, suppliers, and policymakers, demonstrating a shared commitment to food security and economic growth.