Even as India is the world's largest producer for milk and second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, about 40 to 50 per cent of the total output, worth USD 440 billion goes waste, according to a study.
"India has about 6,300 cold storage facilities with a capacity of 30.11 million tonne, which are only able to store about 11 per cent of the country's total perishable produce," ASSOCHAM secretary general D S Rawat said quoting the study.
The study said about 60 per cent of this storage capacity is spread across the states of UP, West Bengal, Gujarat and Punjab.
Cold chain market in India was valued at USD 167.24 billion in 2016, and is projected to reach USD 234.49 billion by 2020, the study estimated.
The cold chain market has grown steadily in the last few years and this trend is expected to continue until 2020.
The report highlighted a number of factors responsible for a slow growth of the sector, one of them being high operating cost.
"Shortage of adequate infrastructure, lack of trained personnel, outdated technology and inconsistent power supply are other major obstacles in growth of cold chain infrastructure in India," Rawat said.
He said setting up cold-chain involves higher infrastructure costs.
"Given the expected growth in grocery retail to USD 847.9 billion by 2020 from USD 500 billion in 2012, there are some changes expected by the industry as a whole to ensure that the three significant areas of handling food collection, storage and transportation to be more cost effective for retailers," he added.
While retail cold chain as a sector is currently struggling to be more efficient, there is a lot of scope for improvement with the help of technology, the study said.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)