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AGRICULTURE

ICAR-IIHR’s divn of PHT to up farmers’ incomes with horti value addition
Wednesday, 12 February, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
ICAR-IIHR division of post-harvest technology (PHT) and agricultural engineering (AE) has provided the much-needed value addition to horticulture crops. To this end, it recently developed technologies for jackfruit juice without the addition of sugars and additives with shelf life of six months under ambient conditions.
 
According to Vaibhav B S, chief operating officer, BESST HORT, ICAR-IIHR, noted that jackfruit is the most underutilised fruit. “We have embarked on maximising its   processed form by developing juices with the fruit. Apart from this, jackfruit seed powder is used to make chocolates and cookies,” he added.
 
Dr M R Dinesh, director, ICAR-IIHR, stated, “Our objective is in line with the Union government’s agenda to double farmers’ incomes, and Make in India, through an academia-industry interface meet at our campus on February 12.”

“It would provide an insight into technological interventions sought by the fruit and vegetable processing industry and agro machinery manufacturers through a public-private partnership model,” he added.

The day-long event at the ICAR-IIHR campus on February 12 would also showcase the machinery and post-harvest technologies which would give insights to the industry on efficiency with no wastage.

Moreover, it would give an opportunity to the entrepreneurs and small industry to connect with large food industry players to serve as suppliers of quality raw materials, semi-processed and finished products.
 
“Our scientists have developed a slew of ready-to-drink (RTD) juices from pomegranate and raw mango, which are sans preservatives and with a shelf life of over three months under refrigerated storage conditions. Further, we are also working to develop products by processing residues of these fruits to probiotic juices and health beverages based on fruits and millets,” he added.
 
The scientists of the division have also gone on to develop a wide range of machinery for spawn production, complete set of onion seeding, onion grade and de-topper. The teams have also devised raw mango processing machines, among others. Currently validation is on for machinery such as pomegranate aril extractors, integrated garlic bulb breaker-peelers and fruit-vegetable grafting machines.
 
“There is a huge potential for taking these machinery and processing technologies to the end-user through the food industry and an emerging pool of start-ups, besides well established entrepreneurs who are scouting for novel concepts,” said Dr Dinesh.

“It is through such institute-industry collaborations, which are seen to propel forward and backward linkages, which enable farmers to get the right remuneration for the produce, thereby alleviating the post-harvest losses and also by making a variety of wholesome and nutritious products to the consumers,” he added.
 
Noting that there was a huge gap between industrial needs in terms of technology development and research undertaken by the public R&D organisations, Dr Dinesh said that it was critical for academia to comprehend the requirements of the food processing industry.
 
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