The Telegraph
Thursday , January 9 , 2014
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Danfoss Bengal plan

Calcutta, Jan. 8: Danfoss Industries Pvt Ltd, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Denmark-based Danfoss Group, is looking to offer its expertise and specialised equipment to strengthen the cold chain infrastructure in Bengal.

The company is identifying clusters in the horticulture sector, analysing opportunities and compiling a report. It is looking to work under the public-private partnership model with the state government.

Danfoss is working on a similar project in Tamil Nadu where it helped banana farmers triple their income in the last three years.

Bengal is the second-largest producer of potatoes in India after Uttar Pradesh, and they collectively contribute to 50 per cent of the country’s production. Any deviation in production in these two states impacts overall market prices. However, they are still lacking in adequate storage facilities.

“In India, almost 30-35 per cent of the agricultural produce after harvest perishes between the farm and the supermarket. Because we do not have a good cold chain infrastructure, we are losing a lot,” Danfoss India president Ravichandran Purushothaman said.

“Bengal produces potato only in the January-March period. About 61.47 per cent of potato production is consumed, 21 per cent is used as seed, 0.5 per cent is processed and the remaining is sold to the neighbouring states. A strong cold chain infrastructure will increase the income of the farmer,” he said.

Danfoss is predominantly engaged in refrigeration business. It has products that can control temperature between minus 20 degree Celsius and 20 degree Celsius. It makes compressors for chillers and controls for AC and refrigeration cycles along with variable speed drives that is used for energy-efficiency solutions.

Purushothaman is also the co-chair for the National Cold Chain task force set up by the ministry of agriculture.

“We are looking at areas where we can co-operate with the government. In a few weeks, we should be ready with the engagement model and will discuss it with the task force,” he said.