National Centre for Cold-chain Development

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National Centre for Cold-chain Development
NCCD Logo.jpg
Abbreviation NCCD
Formation February 9, 2012 (2012-02-09)
Type Autonomous Government Body
Headquarters Janpath Bhawan
  • New Delhi, India
Region served
Government & Private
Chief Advisor
Capt. Pawanexh Kohli
Sanjeev Chopra, Joint Secretary (DAC)
Main organ
Technical Committees
Website NCCD Homepage
Remarks National Body to serve as a nodal agency to promote and develop cold-chain in India

The National Centre for Cold-chain Development (NCCD) is an autonomous body established [1] by the Government of India with an agenda to positively impact and promote the development of the cold-chain sector in the country. NCCD was registered under the Society Registration Act, 1860 and given sanction by the Union Cabinet of India on 9 February 2012[2] in a session chaired by the country's Prime Minister.


India is one of the largest producers of agricultural products and one of the global leaders in the pharmaceutical sector. Yet, it is known to have a fledgling cold-chain, which results in supply chain losses of food and other resources. These losses have been stated to be as high as USD 8 to 15 billion per annum from the agriculture sector alone. To address this concern, the government had earlier constituted a National Task Force on Cold-chain in 2008. This task force was discharged in 2010 on completing its mandate and in its report recommended that a dedicated institute be established to promote and coordinate various cold-chain initiatives undertaken by different government arms and the private industry. Cold chains are common in the food and pharmaceutical industries and also some chemical shipments.

The Government of India is one of the driving forces in developing the cold-chain industry and supports private participation through various subsidy schemes and grants. Investment in cold-chain in India was also opened under the automatic route for 100% FDI participation. The existing cold-chain in India largely comprised (in 2010) of comparatively small private companies with a regional or local footprint. Most of the earlier infrastructure developed to service the cold-chain needs of the country was focused on the storage of potato. While this specific produce is not native to India and is harvested only once only during winter, the success of cold-chain intervention has made potatoes available all through the year and is now considered part of the country's staple diet.

In the previous two decades, India has been developing at a quick pace and an increasing demand for high value foods with a shift towards horticultural crops has been documented. This, coupled with rapid urbanisation resulted in multi-fold changes to the spending and consumption pattern of India's population. The existing food supply chain systems were unable to cope with these fast changing demographic trends and the lack of efficient and effective supply chains is understood to lead to a variety of losses in the perishable food segment. In 2012, Indian farmers produced 240 million metric tonnes of horticultural produce,[3] almost equal to its grain and cereals production. Various studies indicate that 18% to 40% of this produce was lost due to supply chain inefficiencies, concluding that a focused effort was required to promote the development of the cold-chain in the country.

The Indian government and its Planning Commission spelt out clear intention, that cold-chain has to be supported. Amongst the core identified development areas are the base infrastructure,[4] environmentally friendly technologies, standards and protocols, enabling policies and specialised skills.


NCCD is overseen by a Governing Council, chaired by the Secretary (A&C, Ministry of Agriculture) and monitored by an Inter-ministerial Group (IMG). The chief executive appointed is the Director of this nodal body. In line with recent trends the government additionally appointed an established leader from the private sector as its chief advisor, to assist the executive of this body. NCCD comprises members from the cold-chain stakeholders community and administered by its office secretariat staff.

NCCD attracts participation from various private & government stakeholders ranging from Educational & Research Institutions, Regulatory authorities, Trade bodies, individual Companies involved as users or providers of cold-chain, farmer Groups and Associations as well as Individuals as Associate members. Each such member group also elects representation on the governing council, enabling NCCD to reflect inclusive governance and emulate a public-private partnership model. Since its founding, the Chief Advisor of NCCD is Pawanexh Kohli, who also serves as the Chief Executive Officer.

Technical committees[edit]

NCCD has constituted the following technical committees [5] which include industry leaders as its members.

  • Training, HRD and R&D Committee.
  • Committee for Strengthening Supply Chain & Logistics.
  • Application of Non-conventional Energy Sources in Cold Chain Infrastructure.
  • Technical Specification, Standards, Test Laboratory and Product Certification Committee.

These committees contribute towards this nodal body's functioning along its road-map.[6]


NCCD is tasked with objectives [7] of national importance which include,

  1. Serve as a think tank to the government on the subject of cold-chain. NCCD engages with its members to translate industry needs into policy recommendation.
  2. Provide an enabling environment for cold chain sector and facilitate private investment for cold-chain infrastructure.
  3. Direction setting to narrow the gap in the supply and value chain including storage, specialised transport and operational or business processes.
  4. Address the concerns on standards and protocols related to cold-chain testing, verification, certification and accreditation.
  5. Assist in developing and promoting new and energy efficient technologies and their adaption in India.
  6. Capacity building and training activities to reduce the gap in skilled human resources required for cold-chain sector.
  7. Recommend guidelines to minimise environment impact and promote sustainability in the cold-chain.
  8. Awareness programs on best practices for perishable product handling, indigenised for specific requirements and conditions.

Globally, about 60% of fresh foods are transported in the cold chain helping restrict loss in value and extending reach to distant markets. In India, While almost 12% of fruits and vegetables have access to storage capacity, less than 5% of such goods continue transport in the cold-chain with most of the fresh produce being subject to harsh climatic conditions. This results in the gross loss of perishable food items. Similar lack of cold-chain in the pharmaceutical sector witnesses increased risk and loss of medical products. Lack of appropriate integrated infrastructure in this sector also increases risk to frozen foods shipments. Despite being a large food producer globally, this disallows the supply chain to support India's aspirations to better serve its domestic population and increase its share in global food trade. NCCD is intended to address all segments and the developmental aspects of cold-chain.

International Cooperation[edit]

NCCD participates in global activities on matters of agri-logistics and food loss and waste. In 2013, the head of NCCD represented India as Guest of Honour at a Summit on Sustainability and cold chain and signed an MoU with Cemafroid in France.[8]

NCCD has also contributed to UK's Policy Commission under University of Birmingham: Doing Cold Smarter and invited to a panel discussion at UK's House of Lords in 2015.[9] NCCD co-chaired and was a part of Working Group on Food Loss and Food Waste at the International Action Summit held in The Hague in 2015[10]

NCCD was awarded the Agribusiness Leadership Award in India in 2014.[11]

The minimum system standards and guidelines for cold chain infrastructure, in use in India authored by NCCD, were developed with participation of international technology providers.


External links[edit]