GEOSPATIAL PERSPECTIVE FOR POST-HARVEST INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT: POSITIONING OF NEW COLD STORAGE
The deficiency in post-harvest infrastructure leads to loss of agricultural produce which in turn affects farmer’s income and food security. So, there is a need to improve post-harvest infrastructure in the country. Potato is a major horticultural crop requiring cold storage facility. This study was carried out for Bihar state of India, which has the least ratio of storage capacity to potato production in comparison to other states. An approach has been developed to identify the suitable locations for cold storages using geospatial technology to increase accessibility to cold storage facilities. Temporal variations in vegetation profiles were used to generate crop maps and from this crop area proportions were calculated at village level. These proportions were used to identify significant village clusters contributing to horticulture production. From this priority villages were identified. These priority villages were assigned to nearest major settlement which will be the sites for positioning new cold storage facility. The approach developed in this study has identified 63 locations in 17 districts for developing new cold storage facility. The proposed new locations for cold storages will reduce the distance to nearest cold storage for 14244 villages and this reduction in distance will be more than 8 kms for 9774 villages. Thus, the study validated the role of Remote Sensing and GIS for post-harvest infrastructure planning.