ROURKELA: There has been a sea change on the horticulture production front in Sundargarh district with majority farmers opting for cash crops. However,
abs ence of cold storage facilities has left the farmers and consumers equally worried.
While farmers are apprehensive of distress sale in the absence of space to store the perishable commodities, particularly during bumper crop, the consumers fear steep prices.
The paradox: A cold storage at the strategically important Rajamunda area of Lahunipara block in Bonai sub-division has long been neglected. It is no secret that the farmers of fertile Lahunipara block along with Nuagaon block in Panposh sub-division have emerged as a force in terms of their ability to produce horticulture crops, especially vegetables.
While the farmers of Nuagaon block have long been pressing for a cold storage at an appropriate location in Birmitrapur Assembly segment, the one in Bonai sub-division was rendered defunct more than two decades ago.
The Rajamunda cold storage set up in 1960s and managed by Regional Cooperative Marketing Society (RCMS) now cuts a sorry picture.
RCMS sources said except the dilapidated structure, the cold storage facility has nothing much to offfer.
The machines were auctioned in early 2000. It was located between NH 143 and NH-520 with a storage capacity of around 5,000 quintals.
A proposal to revive the defunct cold storage on PPP mode had been gathering dust with the State Government for long.
Sundargarh-based Deputy Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Ugrasen Patra, said a recommendation had been sent to the government for revival of the cold storage which would require an investment of around ` 3 crore. He hoped that on becoming functional it would cater to the entire sub-division.