The main objective of the visit was to explore warehousing and cold storage facilities and practices, understand the auction market (mandi) system, and learn about warehouse receipt financing. The delegation, consisting of public sector officials from Federal, Provincial, and local governments, private sector actors, and 3 team members from Sahaj, visited cold storage, dairy storage facilities, warehouse and processing plants, and auction markets across 4 states in India.
During the visit, the delegation had meetings with private and government officials related to refrigeration, cold chain development, and the agricultural produce auction market.
The private sector actors in the delegation were particularly impressed by the newer technologies in refrigeration, processing, and cold storage they saw in India, and they began to explore ways to implement these technologies in their own companies. They were also intrigued by the idea of multicommodity stores related to dairy, and they began to research how they could operate such stores in Nepal.
The government officials in the delegation were most interested in understanding how farmers can be linked to the wider market in a systematic manner through the auction market, and how receipt financing could be done through the auction market. They also gained valuable insight into the cold storage supply chain in India and how the center and state governments maintain information on smaller and larger cold chains and provide subsidies to the private sector to build more cold storage in the long run.
Overall, the exposure visit to India was a success as they returned home with a deeper understanding of cold storage and auction market systems and ideas for how to improve their own systems in Nepal. Sahaj and the delegation members will continue to work together to implement the ideas and recommendations that came out of the visit.
Sahaj is an SDC project implemented by a consortium of Swisscontact (as the lead agency) and CEAPRED.