Need to Focus Secondary Agriculture to Uplift Rural Economy

New Delhi, December 13

“The 52 percent workforce engaged in agriculture requires a booster dose for revamping its economy and this can happen only through post harvest sector, which is nothing but secondary agriculture,” these remarks were made by Secretary, DARE and Director General ICAR, Dr. S. Ayyapan during the brain storming session on Post Harvest Technology & Value Addition held at National Agricultural Science Complex (NASC) Complex here today.

The objective of the brainstorming session was to identify the key projects on which research needs are to be accelerated. Deputy Director Generals of ICAR, National Director, NAIP and Directors of most of the commodity and engineering institutes of the ICAR system participated in the session.

Making a presentation on Status, Emerging Challenges and Strategies on Post Harvest Technology and Value Addition for Different Commodities, Dr. R.T. Patil, Director, Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana said that secondary agriculture is basically value addition to primary agriculture.  “But this also involves the tertiary processing where by-products and crops residues or even the main crop is used for extraction of high value bio-active compounds,” he added.

The major points emerged during the session included acceleration of research on production of high ended secondary agriculture products; use of livestock processing waste and fish processing waste; use of natural fibers for bio plastics and bio composites; culled potato and tapioca for bio plastics; extraction of pectin from peels of fruits; production of bio ethanol; exaction of vitamins and dietary fibre from vegetable waste and use of spent material as animal feed. Experts also shared their experiences and appreciated the accelerated efforts of ICAR to strengthen the post-harvest sector in the country.

As a follow up an expert committee has been set up to gather and screen the projects from different institutes and prepare a proposal for submission to planning commission.

(Source: NAIP Sub-Project of Mass Media Mobilization, DIPA with inputs from CIPHET, Ludhiana)