CHITWAN, July 4: Different cooperatives based in Gaidakot of Nawalparasi have taken initiated to open a cold storage warehouse in the area.
The held a discussion on the issue amid a program organized by Cooperative Coordination Network (CCN) on the occasion of 173rd cooperative day recently.
“Cold storage facilities are necessary as they help farmers fetch good price for their produce. The Gaidakot Municipality will provide needful support and cooperation if there is possibility of opening such facility here,” Chhatra Raj Poudel, the mayor of Gaidakot Municipality, said at the program. “Establishment of cold storage facility will be a good beginning as the municipality has set a target of achieving prosperity through agricultural development,” he added.
Bed Prasad Goudel, the president of Gaidakot Cooperative Network, said there are 38 cooperatives in Gaidakot Municipality. “These cooperatives have over 13,000 shareholders and share capital of Rs 3.5 billion,” he said, adding: “The cooperatives have taken initiative to open a cold storage facility as they have realized the need for the facility as well as have adequate capital to establish one.”
Jabahar Lal Pradhan, who has been operating a privately-owned cold storage facility since 1986, said operating a cold storage does not seem as easy as it looks. “You need to make farmers aware of the benefits of storing their produce in the cold storage,” he said.
Pradhan said he ventured into the business realizing that cold storage facility helps farmers to get good price.
Surya Mani Poudel, managing secretary of an under-construction cold storage facility in Chanauli, Chitwan, said that cold storage facility generally has capacity to store 2,500 tons of produce. “Our facility can store potatoes produced in 269 to 336 hectares,” Poudel added.
If there is cold storage facility nearby, farmers can store their products and sell them when they better price in the market. “It is because of this very reason that local cooperatives of Gaidakot have taken initiation to establish a cold storage facility,” Dipak Pandey, secretary of secretary of CCN, said. He also said that cold storage facility will also help in commercialization of agricultural sector.
Speaking at the program, Khem Raj Sapkota, board director of National Cooperative Development Board (NCDB), said the initiative taken by local cooperatives to build a cold storage facility is praiseworthy as it encourages farmers to increase production.