January 21, 2019
West Bengal, January 21, 2019: 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.
Dr. Amit Mitra, Hon'ble Minister of Finance, Commerce & Industries, Government of West Bengal, inaugurated the warehouse with endorsement to launch its operation. Other representatives from the Government of West Bengal who graced the occasion included 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; Mr. Janab Alhaz Mehabub Rahaman, Sabhadhipati, President, Hooghly Zilla Parishad; Mr. Rabindranath Bhattacharya; Minister of Legislative Assembly (MLA); Mr. Becharam Manna, MLA; Mr. JP Meena (IAS), District Magistrate, Hooghly. From Japanese side, the ceremony was attended by Mr. Keiichi Higuchi, President, Kawasaki Rikuso Transportation, Mr. Masayuki Taga, Consul-General of Japan, Mr. Kazuya Nakajo, Chief Director General, JETRO New Delhi 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.
The warehouse will help in increasing farmer's incomes by introducing high quality supply chain of agricultural crops, by verifying superiority of these warehouses in order to examine the venue of dissemination and related issues.
Mr. Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA India while making a speech at the inauguration ceremony
Established by a specific law as an incorporated administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to promote international cooperation as the sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in the form of loans, grants and technical cooperation, so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
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