The Haryana government and the University of Birmingham signed an MoU for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for crop post-harvest management and sustainable cold chain in the state. In the presence of the Haryana Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, JP Dalal, Additional Chief Secretary Sumita Misra signed an MoU with a representative of the University of Birmingham (UK).
The Agriculture Minister, Sumita Misra and the Director-General, Horticulture, Arjun Singh Saini, are in Birmingham to attend the Cold Chain summit at the university on September 29 and 30.
The Manohar Lal-led Haryana government is running several welfare schemes in the interest of farmers. Starting a new initiative, the state has also launched Mukhyamantri Bagwani Bima Yojana for horticulture farmers. Besides this, the state government is also encouraging farmers to adopt crop diversification to promote horticulture crops.
JP Dalal said that the Centre of Excellence will be a milestone for the reduction in post-harvest losses, updating the knowledge of stakeholders including farmers, use of eco-friendly and farmer-friendly technologies in supply chain and research and development as well.
Dalal addressed the participants at the Cold Chain summit and stated that horticulture in Haryana, at present, has around 7 per cent of the total gross cropped area. He emphasised on reducing the post-harvest losses.
He informed that 393 horticulture clusters have been formed in the state, 13 integrated pack houses have been established, 50 others are under establishment and in the next five years, 500 more integrated pack houses shall be established. He said that Haryana will be the most advanced state in the organised supply chain of fresh fruits and vegetables and linking farmers directly with the market.
Dr. Sumita Misra stated that support to the small and marginal farmers is essential for reduced wastage at the farm gate level and supporting post-harvest product storage though the creation of on-farm integrated pack houses. She focused on developing an ecosystem to promote clean green energy, and cold chain systems to prevent food loss between harvests to retail.