Indian Railways Should Launch Bogies With Cold Storage to Promote Agro Economy

-Swaminathan Balasubramanian

Kochi: Being a vast and varied economy and while Indian Railways is trying to increase the revenue, introduction of special bogies with cold-storage facilities to enhance the domestic promotion of agriculture goods and products.

KK Pillai, Chairman, Nikasu Group in the city who calls this idea his brainchild has been raising voice for this idea for the past 15 years. “India, as a country, is a vast region where most of the products available in North India are not available in South and vice-versa. As a nation where dynamics change for every 30km, we still cannot depend solely on road and air transport for the logistics of the domestic goods.”, he says further adding that rail transportation will not only make the trade affordable but also an additional revenue for the railways.

Mr. Pillai who represents the business forums at both state and central level is aiming to enhance the relationship between the state and central governments.  “I had been asking various governments to try this idea. However, no one had realized the importance. If cold storage is brought on a large scale, it will address all issues ranging from road traffic, cost, fuel rate, pollution, accidents and what not?” questions Pillai who also says that with the doubling of lines is almost going to happen, such initiative will be a game-changer for the Indian agro economics.

Growth of the Indian food sector:

According to Mr. Pillai, the initial days of COVID pandemic were challenging without the proper workforce in place. However, as soon as the relaxations came into place and many workers from various parts of India started coming back, the situation turned normal, and simultaneously, the demand from our export markets increased. “Across the world, there was no proper prediction and consumers [especially in the US], started the bulk purchase of the Indian foods leading to over-demand. However, after two months, the mass consumption had stopped suddenly as people stopped purchasing in bulk numbers.” Many manufacturers who anticipated higher demand ended up in manufacturing more than what was needed.

The entry of new players:

Mr Pillai also shares concern about the over-competition in the food sector. He says, “Many players are entering the industry at the same time. According to them, entering the food sector at this point in time would be a good deal. However, they fail to understand the nuances in the trade. Entering the business might be easier. However, sustaining is the challenge.” On the lessons learned from the COVID pandemic, he says that food companies now understood that not everything can be done only by human effort. “It is high time food companies start trusting on the technology and technology will never cheat us.”, he said.


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