Ice Make Refrigeration Limited (Ice Make), one of the leading manufacturer & supplier of cooling solutions equipment, has launched an affordable solar powered cold storage unit for interior areas where proper storage temperature and adequate infrastructure is not available due to non -availability of regular power. The Company has a pan India product distribution and service network and is expecting good response for the eco- friendly and energy efficient solar cold room from the farmers in Gujarat, Maharashtra and other regions across India.
Mr Chandrakant P. Patel, CMD, Ice Make Refrigeration Limited said “In line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to transform agriculture sector and double the farmer’s income, Ice Make has successfully developed its first portable solar based Cold Storage Room with in- house technology, design and capability. Customised for the rural and semi urban requirements, the product is economically viable and beneficial for the farmers and other users in the supply chain. The cold room unit with a storage space of about 4-5 metric ton and costing around Rs 11-12 lakh helps retain the quality, freshness, enhance shelf-life and reduce wastage of temperature prone perishable produce. The shelf life of solar cold storage room is around 7-10 years. Though conventional cold storages cost around 30-40% less then solar-powered ones but require grid power which comprises around 30% of their running cost. Solar cold storages not only reduce this cost, but can also make a key difference in distant rural areas which are not yet electrified, or where power supply is poor”
“While Solar-based cold storages are still at an experimental stage in India, the main challenge is low awareness and the information gap that needs to be bridged at the earliest to help the farmers double their income and reap strong benefits from the good quality cold storage facilities. The Government has extended its 40-50% subsidy scheme to solar refrigeration units to make them affordable and encourage their adoption and with proper utilization the solar based cold storage uses can lead to over 30-40% increase in their income. With governments strong focus on agriculture and horticulture growth our internal research suggests that the market for Solar-based cold storages will expand aggressively in the next few years. There are only handful solar cold storages being used in the country so far” Mr Patel added.
India is the world’s second largest producer of fruits and vegetables after China, with an output of about 100 million tonne of fruits and 180 million tonne of vegetables. However, according to various studies around 40% of this produce perishes for lack of adequate cold storage facilities. Even the rest has to be quickly brought to market and sold, or the quality deteriorates. The pressure to sell early regularly leads to glut and shortages of these commodities in the market, resulting in wild price fluctuations.