Blumberg Grain Plans Food Storage Systems in Punjab

The Tribune (PDF)

David Blumberg CEO, Blumberg Grain — West Africa talks to Sanjeev Sharma

Blumberg Grain is considering Punjab along with other states for setting up operations in India for food storage and warehousing systems. David Blumberg, CEO, Blumberg Grain —West Africa, talks about the India plans and creating an export hub for Asia and investments.

Q: What is Blumberg Grain’s global size and footprint?
A: Founded by Philip F. Blumberg, chairman of Blumberg Partners, Blumberg Grain provides harvest protection systems and technology. It works in emerging markets for both private and public sector clients. The company has a strong footprint in Africa, with projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Senegal, and others. In Egypt, Blumberg Grain’s new storage infrastructure for the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade will comprise 294 sites across Egypt and enable primary processing of 11.7 million metric tonne of wheat per year, saving the country up to $500 million a year. That project will be one of the world’s largest integrated food security systems for grain storage.

Q. What are the plans for the Indian market?
A. India is a key market in our global growth plans. Blumberg Grain is looking to work with the government and private sector to significantly upgrade India’s agricultural supply chain through the creation of state-of-the-art food storage and warehousing systems.

Blumberg Grain will create greenfield warehouse infrastructure and retrofit existing infrastructure for warehousing operators across the country. Our commitment to India is long-term, with an investment programme to include a plant for the manufacturing of our food security systems.

Blumberg Grain’s scientific warehousing and food storage solutions can reduce agricultural post-production losses — at times close to 50% of production — to less than 5%, dramatically improving agricultural output and benefitting farmers and consumers.

The flexibility in the design of its systems allow the Blumberg Grain warehouses to be erected quickly and specialised for each market they will be located in. The company’s proprietary technology, such as vacuum sealed organically fumigating bags, or its self-generating controlled atmosphere cold rooms ensure products stay in condition.

The technology will help farmers by allowing them to get the best price for their produce and consumers by creating greater and better quality availability while reducing price fluctuations.

Q: What are your plans for Punjab?
A: Senior representatives of the company are visiting Punjab as well as several other states in the country, to explore propositions for establishing the manufacturing plant and export hub for Asia. The company intends to select a location for the manufacturing hub by the end of summer. We are also in discussion with potential distribution partners and customers in the state.

Q: What are the initiatives for making India an export hub?
A: We are looking forward to making India our hub for Asia to enhance food security infrastructure in both the grain and perishable value chains throughout the region. We are looking to establish a manufacturing plant and export hub in India. The Blumberg Grain Hub in India will manufacture components for scientific warehouses. Blumberg Grain will export its systems, made in India, throughout Asia.

Q: How does it synchronise with Make in India?
A: Blumberg Grain aims to make India a home country in the greater region — that is the vision of our chairman, Philip Blumberg. The Blumberg Grain manufacturing facility alone would generate over 1,000 local jobs and an estimated economic impact of $1 billion in the first year of operation in the state in which it is set up. In addition, we will source raw materials from India and help create a knowledge base and supply chain that will have a multiplier effect on local economies.

Q: What are the investments lined up?
A: Our investment programme of over $250 million over the next five years in India includes manufacturing facilities, upstream activities such as high yield farming and downstream infrastructure like processing and packaging facilities.

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