CSIR unit set up in Arunachal for post-harvest processing

NAHARLAGUN, Aug 20: A research institute under the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has set up a centre for post-harvest processing here to help farmers in Arunachal increase their income, Agriculture Minister Tage Taki said on Tuesday.
The Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) would cater to the needs of the farmers of the state through technological solutions and training to improve their knowledge and skills about post-harvest handling, processing, water purification and renewable energy technologies.
“Arunachal Pradesh produces good quality of ginger, turmeric, chilly and other spice crops. But due to lack of preservation and post-harvest processing technology, farmers are forced to sell their produces at low prices,” the minister said.
Taki inaugurated the centre on Tuesday.
“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 the inaugural programme.
He said the centre would facilitate the farmers in terms of technologies and knowledge on how to wash, slice and dry spices like ginger and turmeric for commercial marketing.
Responding to a question, Taki said his department is contemplating going for post-harvest processing of winter vegetables, so that they 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, in which post-harvest technology plays a crucial role,” the minister added.
The CSIR-CMERI is based in Durgapur, in West Bengal. Its Director, Dr Haris Hirani, said the centre would help the farmers of the state in getting proper value for their produce, and also help in their economic uplift.
The cost of the post-harvesting unit is around Rs 10.5 lakhs.
The director said a similar centre was inaugurated in Pasighat in East Siang district, and that another one would be set up in Lower Subansiri HQ Ziro. (PTI)