Itanagar, August 20: A research institute under the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has set up a centre for post-harvest processing near here to help farmers in Arunachal Pradesh increase their income, state 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 a low price,” the minister pointed out.
Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister Tage Taki inaugurated the centre at Naharlagun near here 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 the technologies and knowledge on how to wash, slice and drying of spices like ginger and turmeric for commercial marketing.
Responding to a question, Taki said 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.
The CSIR-CMERI is based on Durgapur in West Bengal.
Its Director Dr Haris Hirani said the centre would help the farmers of the state to get proper value for their produce and also help in their economic upliftment.
The cost of the post-harvesting unit is around Rs 10.5 lakh.
The director said similar centres was inaugurated at Pasighat in East Siang district of the state and another is in the pipeline at Ziro in Lower Subansiri district. (PTI)