ROURKELA: For the horticulture farmers, particularly potato growers, who had been facing natural and market uncertainties in absence of adequate cold storage facilities, a 5,000 tonne private cold storage has come as a relief for them. Another private cold storage is likely to operate in a month is set to bring more cheer for the community.
Administrative sources said there were no cold storage facilities in Sundargarh and Bonai sub-divisions and a private cold storage facility of 1,500 tonnes at Rourkela city in Panposh sub-division was the only option.
Inaugurating the 5,000 tonne capacity facility in Bargaon block in the last week of October, District Collector Bhupendra Singh Poonia said another cold storage facility of similar capacity will be operational along National Highway 143 in Bonai sub-division. The administration is extending all possible help to private promoters to set up cold storage units and boost the agriculture sector. The farmers are also being asked to cultivate more cash crops like vegetables which would help them earn suitable profits and at the same time reduce the demand supply gap.
However, a half-constructed private cold storage unit at Kirei of Sundargarh town has failed to take off allegedly due to the laxity of the promoter. The district administration has sought return of around two acres of land allotted for the purpose.
Deputy Director, Horticulture (DDH) Basudev Barik said, private promoters are showing interest in setting up cold storages and a fresh proposal for Tangarpali block is under consideration. More promoters are evincing interest as under the Government prescribed norms a cold storage of 5,000 tonnes costs about `4 crore and the Government is giving a subsidy of about `2.8 crore along with 50 to 20 per cent cut on electricity bills for six years.