The Haryana Government and University of Birmingham signed an agreement for the establishment of a centre of excellence for crop post-harvest management and sustainable cold chain in the state. The agreement will see a collaboration to develop centres of excellence for clean cold chains that will help to map out a blueprint and delivery plan for sustainable cooling across the north Indian state.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in a special ceremony in London by Mr. T L Satya Prakash, Managing Director of Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited on behalf of the State Government of Haryana, and Professor Andy Schofield, Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham. The meeting and signing ceremony was attended by the Haryana Chief Minister, Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar.
On Thursday, Mr Dalal addressed the participants to the Cold Chain Summit in Haryana and stated that the state's total gross cropped area accounts for around 7 percent of the state's total crop area. He also stated that this 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 the supply chain and research and development as well.
To encourage diversification into horticulture and increase the income of the farmers, several new programmes and initiatives have been taken up by the Haryana Government, added Mr Dalal. He informed that 393 horticulture clusters have been formed, 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.
Mr Dalal said that Haryana will be the most advanced state in the organized supply chain of fresh fruits and vegetables and linking farmers directly with the market and so far 59 agreements with the agri-sector companies have been executed by the Farmers Producers Organization.
Sumita Misra said that small and marginal farmers are important to reducing waste at the farm gate level by strengthening their financial resources for purchasing equipment and supporting post-harvest product storage by means of on-farm integrated pack houses.