Bihar village gets first solar-powered cold storage

The eco-friendly cold storage in Kedia village was made possible through a donation campaign managed by Greenpeace

GN Bureau | August 16, 2016


#farmers   #Greenpeace   #Kedia village   #cold storage   #Bihar   #agriculture   #solar power  

Photo courtesy: Greenpeace

Bihar’s Kedia village has become the first to have a solar-powered cold storage in the state. Bought through individual donations secured via a crowd-funding campaign managed by NGO Greenpeace, the cold storage was inaugurated by Bihar labour resources minister Vijay Prakash on August 13.

The installation of the eco-frost cold storage is not only environment-friendly, but will also help farmers to extend the shelf-life of their produce. This way, the freezer would give farmers a degree of control over fluctuating market conditions, secure better prices and get higher returns for their products. By enabling the safe storage of their seeds for future harvests as well, the facility will also provide the farmers financial security.

Ishteyaque Ahmed, a Greenpeace campaigner, said, “As India approaches its 69th Independence Day, we celebrate together a new, meaningful freedom in Kedia.” He added, “Kedia is celebrating freedom from harmful agro-chemicals, freedom from the crippling debts incurred due to high input costs, and dependence on an unstable, exploitative market, and relative freedom from erratic climate conditions that see so much food going to waste.”
Talking to the NGO volunteers, Sunita Devi, a progressive farmer, said, “Until now we couldn’t afford to grow vegetables commercially because the lack of storage facilities meant that they would start to rot before we could sell them profitably. Now, the cold storage will ensure less wastage of our produce, and allow us to grow vegetables that can fetch us about Rs 500 a day.”  

Priya Rajesh Unnithan, a donor, told the NGO, “This is a great step towards helping our farmers. Every year, tonnes of grains and other food products get wasted in our godowns, while India continues to live with poverty. Cold storage units are the need of the country today, and a solar-powered one is doubly beneficial.”

Acknowledging the support and encouragement from local administration, government schemes and people of Kedia, Ahmed said, “In less than two years the perseverance shown by the farmers has resulted in the successful creation of the Kedia model. This model can easily be replicated all over the country and has the potential to bring a paradigm shift in Indian agriculture.”

 

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