Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Cold Storage Association (OCSA) Thursday appealed to the state government to revive the industry in the interest of the peasants, common people and the promoters.
The association urged the government to announce a revival package for cold storage units incurring losses or have become defunct with huge liabilities, credit linkage at low interest rates for working capital and term loan, electricity tariff subsidy and storage rental subsidy to farmers.
It also demanded formation of Farmer Producer Organisation through cold storages, research and development of potato seeds through cold storages, high quality seed production and distribution through cold storages. Engagement of technical and qualified staffers having expertise in post harvest management in cold chambers for monitoring cold storage was also demanded.
The OCSA claimed that the state government had promised to consider all the demands after the elections, but has not taken any initiative even after a month of the election.
Association sources said out of 140 cold storages established in the state, hardly 35-40 are functional.
As many as 26 functional units came up only during the last three years, when the state government launched the ‘State Potato Mission’, and declared to establish 112 new cold storages while increasing the potato production to 7 lakh MT.
But the potato production declined from 2 lakh MT to less than 1.50 lakh MT as of now.
The association said the entire 40 functional cold storages are at the verge of becoming sick including the 24 newly built during the last three years due to the huge capital Investment, electricity tariff, high transportation cost, unavailability of adequate storable goods and lack of warehouse receipt finance.
The association urged the government to provide safe landing for their produce and provide security to their earnings.
The insurance companies are not willing to settle the claims early and creating harassment to the promoters, OCSA president Shyama Pansari alleged. “The association demanded that the private insurance companies should be blacklisted and stopped from expanding their business in the area, if they are not settling claims in a fair manner.”