Bhopal: The State Cabinet here on Tuesday gave an administrative approval for a special scheme to increase the storage capacity of the perishable goods in the state. Proposals will be received online under special scheme worth Rs 294.69 crore for storing perishable items by the Horticulture and Food Processing department. Proposals will be sanctioned on first come and first serve basis. The scheme will be reviewed and expanded after two years. It has been decided to give 50 percent capital subsidy for the construction of cold storage in the meeting. Subsidy of Rs 2 crore will be given for the construction of cold storage with a capacity of 5,000 metric tonne. It may be mentioned that the cold storage capacity will be increased to 5 lakh metric tonne in the state during the next two years.

It is to be highlighted that a large increase in the horticulture crops has been registered during last few years. Despite good produce, farmers are unable to sell their produce on reasonable prices. Keeping in mind the problem faced by the farmers, the establishment of cold storage of perishable items, Onion storage and cold rooms near farm areas will be encouraged. Onion storage capacity will be increased to 5 lakh metric tonne during the next 2 years. 15 onion producing districts will be identified and given priority.

This special scheme has been given administrative approval in the cabinet meeting. Under the scheme, a maximum of Rs 1.75 lakh will be given as 50 per cent capital subsidy for establishing 50 metric tonne capacity onion storage. Similarly, a maximum of 87,500 subsidy will be given for 25 metric tonne capacity. In order to create series of cold storage for the perishable items, 500 cold room will be established in the identified clusters of vegetable route in 10 main vegetables producing districts in the farming areas on a pilot experiment. For this, a maximum of Rs. 25,000 capital subsidy of 50 per cent of the cold room cost will be given.