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Micro Solar Cold Storage

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Guidelines for implementation for micro-solar Cold Storage Project in Jharkhand

Overview

Jharkhand is an agrarian state with more than 32 lakh hectares of land under cultivation producing more than 110 lakh tones of grains and horticulture. About 75% of the population is dependent on agriculture sector for livelihood (National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) July 2012- June 2013), making agriculture sector a key contributor in economic development of the State. Vegetables and fruits together account for nearly 46% of the total produce in the State comprising of lady’s finger, brinjal, tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, peas, mango, lemon, and papaya etc.
While the State has a 30 - 35% horticulture surplus, due to its inadequate storage infrastructure, bulk of the produce deteriorates. It has been reported that Jharkhand loses about 37% of its perishable fruit and vegetable production. One of the key contributing factors for such high loss levels is lack of adequate infrastructure, such as, storage facilities, inappropriate logistic arrangement, and poor market linkages etc.   
According to a study by Yes Bank, the State has 2,17,000 MT of cold storage infrastructure and bulk of it was meant for multi-purpose use – including for storage of fruits and vegetables. The study highlights that the current gap for cold storage infrastructure in Jharkhand is around 579,000 Metric Tonne (MT). 
Jharkhand has recognized horticulture as one of the focus areas for economic growth and has been striving to bring the sector into the mainstream of the State’s economy. Jharkhand is one the largest producers of peas and tomatoes in the country; and cauliflower grows here round the year. The Jharkhand Food Processing Industry Policy, 2015 aims to establish the State as the leading state in food processing in India. To achieve this vision, one of the strategic areas of intervention proposed under the Policy is development of suitable infrastructure facilities including cold storages.

Significance of Solar Cold storage in Jharkhand 

Cold storages require reliable power supply to maintain the desired temperature required for the storage of produce. However, the electricity supply situation in Jharkhand lacks reliability and sufficiency. The farmers get grid electricity for not more than 6 to 7 hours a day and there is no supply during the critical hours of the day – 6 pm to 10 pm. In the given scenario, cold storage with alternate power solution, such as solar, could prove to be very useful for the farmers. While diesel generator sets are one option, they are expensive and environmentally damaging.  On the other hand, solar powered cold storages are a possible solution as it is economical compared to diesel as well as environmentally benign as Jharkhand is well endowed for solar energy. As per the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) satellite data, Jharkhand has solar insolation between 5.0 and 5.5 kwh/m2/day; and with 300 sunny days, it’s a good location to harness solar energy.
The advantages of solar cold storages are discussed below:

  1. Reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions
  2. Reduction in agricultural wastage
  3. Economical in operational front
  4. Ensures power reliability
  5. Addresses transportation woes of farmers to reach to the bigger storage facilities

Summary of Solar cold Storage Project across India

A summary of case studies of solar cold storage project in four different states has been presented below:

State

 Gujarat

Maharashtra

Jharkhand

Jharkhand

Location

Dahegam

Yavat

Gumla

Koderma

Capacity Utilisation

40% utilization (average)

Almost 100% utilisation matching with the crop cycle

Not determined

50-60% utilization with the given crop cycle

Reduction in Wastage

Substantial reduction in crop wastage has been achieved

The members of the FPC have been able to achieve negligible wastage of their produce

Farmers have been able to avoid wastage by using solar cold rooms on rental basis

Working towards reducing wastage; especially tomato

Increased Market Access

Facilitated access to larger markets such as Delhi

Facilitated access to markets where premium on flowers is high, such as Ahmedabad

The fruit vendor in Pasanga has created backward linkages in wholesale market and forward linkage in the retail market at the village level.

The FPC has not  been able to access larger markets as of now

Price realization

Realised almost 200% higher prices as compared to prices offered in local market

Revenue per stick of flower has increased almost by 75%-100%

Not determined as facility is being rented out

Realized almost 100% better prices by timing the market

Financial Viability

Financially viable and the farmer also has expansion plans

Financially viable; nearby farmers are also willing to invest in the technology

Not viable at present

Revenue stream is not defined yet

Payback Period

4-6 years, depending on the subsidy component

About 1 year

More than 10 years in case grant is not available

Not computed

Solar cold Storage co-operative:

A co-operative of group of farmers can be formed; the purpose of formation of co-operative is to increase the sense of responsibility amongst the group of farmers for smooth operation of solar cold storage unit.

Aggregating farmers to form co-operative shall give individual farmers more rights for utilization of solar cold storage unit rather than any other model.

Revenue shall be shared in the proportion of 30: 70 i.e. 30 percent of the revenues shall be shared amongst the group of farmers used the facility of solar cold storage unit and 70 percent to the Govt. of Jharkhand. 30% is the maximum stake of the farmers in the cold storage co-operative.

Solar Cold Storage System Layout:


Cold Storage Unit with Thermal Battery

Last Modified on : 2019-06-03