Cold storage owners hint at fruit, vegetable shortage

LAHORE: A fruit and vegetable crisis may be on the cards after the government decided to charge commercial tariffs for the industrial energy connections of cold storages. The concern was raised at a meeting of the All Pakistan Cold Storage Association (APCSA). 

Up until recently, cold storages were given electricity and power at reduced rates instead of at the set commercial tariff. Cold storages are a vital component in the supply chain of perishable goods in the country. The recent decision by the government to gain more revenue by charging the storages commercial tariffs has caused an uproar with the sector.  

As a result, a relatively unknown association has come forward to try and demand the government take its decision back. The Central Chairman of All Pakistan Cold Storage Association (APCSA) Rehman Aziz Chan urged the government to withdraw the decision of moving the industrial connections of cold storages to commercial tariff. 

“This move will increase the price of stored items by Rs2.50 per KG as the motors are installed in the cold stores which are registered as Industry entities.This sector is 100 years old and for the first time, this association has come forward with its demands after being registered,” Rehman told Profit.  

 “With this measure, vegetables and fruits will become many times more expensive and the farmers will not store vegetables and fruits which will create food security challenges in the country and a new crisis will arise after flour. In terms of population in Pakistan, cold storages are already many times less which instead of increasing, are decreasing now. The government should solve this problem immediately,” he lamented.

He said that at present, food security is a huge problem in the country as about 2 million tons of potato is stored in the cold stores for one year. “Apart from this, other fruits and vegetables are also stored in the cold stores which is a huge number for the food security of Pakistan. This year, All Pakistan Cold Stores Association has set a rate of Rs 980 for the entire of Pakistan for the first time in its history.” 

”This rate includes an escalation clause. That is, if the increase in the electricity rate is more than five percent, the farmers will be charged an additional rate. This rate will be assessed every quarter and these fruits and vegetables are stored in it for one year,” he concluded.


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Shahab Omer
Shahab Omer
The writer is a member of the staff and can be reached on [email protected]


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