Itanagar: In order to enhance the income of the farmers in Arunachal Pradesh, the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) under the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has established a centre for post-harvest processing and research at Naharlagun, near here.
The centre, which was inaugurated by state Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Diary Development Minister Tage Taki on Tuesday at the CSIR-NEIST branch laboratory, would cater to the needs of the farmers of the state through technological solutions and training to improve their knowledge and skills through post-harvest handling, processing, water purification and renewable energy technologies.
“The centre will immensely benefit our farmers as it will provide technical know-how to them through training and various skill development activities,” Taki told reporters after inaugurating the centre which would facilitate the farmers the technologies and knowledge on how to wash, slice and drying of spices like ginger and turmeric for commercial marketing.
“Arunachal Pradesh produce good quality of ginger, turmeric, chilly and other spice crops but due to lack of preservation and post-harvest processing technology for these crops, have forced the farmers to sell their produces at a low price since a very long period,” the minister pointed out.
Responding to a question, Taki informed that his department is contemplating to go for post-harvest processing of winter vegetables so that it could be preserved for long.
“We are working in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to double the farmers’ income by 2020. To double the farmers’ income, we must go for quality produces instead of quantity for which post-harvest technology plays a crucial role,” the minister added.
Durgapur-based CSIR-CMERI Director Dr Haris Hirani informed that the centre would help the farmers of the state to get proper value for their produce and also help in economic upliftment.
“CSIR has given major emphasis to post-harvest processing, waste management, water purification, renewable energy for North East so that the region emerges as a strong economic entity,” Dr Hirani said adding, the cost of the post harvesting unit is around Rs 10.5 lakh. The director further added that a similar centre was inaugurated at Pasighat in East Siang district of the state and one more in the pipeline at Ziro in Lower Subansiri district.
Besides post-harvest processing technology, the CSIR-CMERI had also provides water purification technology and solar technology to give power backups in industrial units.