21-06-2017 05:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
In order to tackle bumper yield and prevent farmers from dumping their produce or selling them at throw away prices, the government is planning to set up irradiation facilities to increase the shelf life of agricultural products
The government is looking up at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre to set up irradiation facilities that will solve the problem of plenty by increasing the shelf life of perishable produce. Farmers deal with bumper crop either by selling them at throw away prices or dumping it in farms.
Irradiation works by disrupting the biological processes that lead to decay. Currently, BARC has a small facility in Lasalgaon in Nasik where farmers of nearby districts and other parts of the country can store their produce during high production years.
The irradiation technique kills harmful bacteria when the horticultural produce is exposed briefly to radiation energy. This increases the shelf life of the produce. Irradiation impairs the ability of onions and potatoes to sprout and causes the death of microorganisms and insects, thus prolonging its shelf life.
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that bumper production can be dealt with through better post-harvest management. Since BARC possessed the technology it can be used for the benefit of farmers. For this reason, BARC will be asked to start such facilities in Madhya Pradesh and other parts of the country for onions, potatoes and other perishable horticultural produce.
Scientists at BARC had successfully applied this technology on litchis and were able to preserve litchis for 60 days at low temperatures
Many farmers have been benefitted by the Lasalgaon center in Maharashtra, which was set up in 2002 at a cost of Rs 8-10 crore. Now the government wishes to open more such facilities so that farmers could preserve their produce and sell it as per demand and adequate price in the market.
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