KC NEWS DESK
Srinagar: The Kashmir Valley played host to its inaugural India Cold Chain Conclave for fruit growers, farmers, and controlled atmosphere store owners on Wednesday.
The India Cold Chain Conclave-Himalayan chapter was organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PHDCCI) in partnership with the National Centre for Cold Chain Development at the Kashmir International Convention Centre.
The aim of the conclave is to provide insight into refrigeration advancements, their repercussions on various industries, the logistics sector, and their role in tackling climate challenges.
Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, said, “Jammu and Kashmir is on a fast track towards peace, growth, stability, and development, emerging as a promising region for investments and new business ventures.”
Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Joint Secretary (Horticulture) Priya Ranjan Verma, Vice-Chancellor SKUAST-K Prof. Nazeer Ahmad Ganai, Director Horticulture Kashmir Ghulam Rasool, COO of NCCD, and Chairman PHDCCI-Kashmir, along with other concerned officers, were present on the occasion.
Representatives from J&K Fruit & Vegetable Processing and Integrated Cold Chain Association (JKIPCCA), Cold Storage Associations, agriculture experts, scientists, fruit growers, entrepreneurs, and agripreneurs also actively participated in the conclave.
Advisor Bhatnagar, while addressing the conclave, emphasised that this platform will empower local entrepreneurs in Jammu and Kashmir to invest in and flourish within the cold chain industry. He underscored its unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to engage with the latest cold chain technologies and infrastructure within their region.
He added that this conclave will significantly contribute to the growth of horticulture, agriculture, and related sectors, boosting the cold chain industry’s value.
Speaking about ongoing developments in Jammu and Kashmir, Advisor Bhatnagar highlighted the remarkable improvement in the “ease of doing business” through innovative digital means, with approximately 15 products receiving GI tags, enhancing their global reach.
He also mentioned the transformative impact of the Holistic Agriculture Development Programme on the agriculture and allied sectors over the next five years. He stressed the need for competitiveness, resource optimisation, quality, and state-of-the-art processes and technology to support the nation’s goal of becoming the third-largest economy globally.
Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta underscored the conclave’s significance in doubling farmers’ income, allowing entrepreneurs and fruit growers in Jammu and Kashmir to explore the immense potential of the cold chain industry and foster valuable connections within the sector.
He highlighted the expected doubling of apple production in the next three to four years with the introduction of the High-Density Agriculture Scheme. Under the “One District One Product (ODOP)” initiative, several districts in J&K have begun exporting products globally, contributing to economic prosperity.
Dr Mehta also noted the impressive transformation and emergence of Jammu and Kashmir as a top achiever in the country in terms of “ease of doing business.” The digital transformation of J&K has empowered common people by shifting services from government offices to online platforms.
Vice-Chancellor SKUAST-K remarked that this interface meeting between government, academia, industry, and stakeholders would boost the cold chain industry. He credited Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for initiating consultations that have brought transformational changes to the region.
Director Horticulture Kashmir, COO of NCCD, President JKIPCCA, and Chairman PHDCCI-Kashmir also shared their insights during the occasion.
The conclave featured several technical sessions where experts and stakeholders deliberated on the development of the cold chain industry across Jammu and Kashmir.