The Temperature Controlled Solar Powered Warehouse was inaugurated today in Tapasi Mallick Krishak Bazar, Singur, West Bengal, to promote efficient sale and distribution of agricultural products. The Project has been entrusted by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as a scheme of ‘Verification Survey for Disseminating Japanese Technologies’, and has been undertaken by Kawasaki Rikuso Transportation Co., Ltd. in collaboration with the Sufal Bangla Project, Department of Agricultural Marketing, Government of West Bengal since October, 2017.
The objective of the Project is to deploy small-sized temperature controlled warehouses which will help lower the loss of agricultural crops by keeping those fresh for efficient shipment and stock management, thereby increasing farmer’s income by reducing the opportunity loss by selling products with heavy discounts due to deterioration.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Mr. Tapan Dasgupta, Minister-in-Charge, Department of Agriculture Marketing; Ms. Asima Patra, Minister-of-State, Department of Programme Monitoring (Independent Charge), Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Backward Classes Welfare; Mr. Indranil Sen, Minister-of-State, Department of Information and Cultural Affairs and Tourism; Janab Alhaz Mehabub Rahaman, Sabhadhipati (President), Hooghly Zilla Parishad; Mr. Rabindranath Bhattacharya; Minster of Legislative Assembly (MLA); Mr. Becharam Manna, MLA; Mr. JP Meena (IAS), District Magistrate, Hooghly, Mr. Keiichi Higuchi, President, Kawasaki Rikuso Transportation, Japan and Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA India.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office emphasized the importance of good synergy of Kawasaki Rikuro and Government of West Bengal which could lead to inaugurating the energy-saving and high functionally warehouse and said that “This JICA-supported project is helping improve the life of farmers by multiplying the sales of stable quality crops with transferring knowhow on value added activities like selection, grading and packaging of the agricultural products. It is expected that such capacity building could lead to vitalization of regional society and economy and the Project would become showcase to put a priority on value added supply chain of fresh agricultural products. It is also strongly hoped that the approach will be replicated in many communities in West Bengal as a model project.”
The lack of temperature controlled warehouses affects the quality of crops. Kawasaki Rikuso aims to carry out an exhaustive verification study for more than half a year after the inauguration of the warehouse, keeping in mind the detailed survey criteria. Through the test operation of warehouse, changes in loss rate, price of each crop, amount of procurement from farmers, and impact on farmers’ income level will be verified with supervision of JICA.