New Delhi, Prof. Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur, delivered an Expert Talk on Post-Harvest Technologies developed by CSIR-CMERI and it’s Potential to change the Agro-Economy of Nagaland and the North-Eastern States of India in a Virtual Event organised by MSME-DI, Dimapur on 5th August, 2021. The program was attended by representatives of numerous NGOs, National Tool Room and Training Centre, Dimapur and Entrepreneurs of the region.
Prof. Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-CMERI, shared that the North-Eastern states of India has tremendous Geographical Advantages in terms of Farming and Agriculture. There is abundance of Harvest for Cash Crops in the North-Eastern states. The States also have hidden exotic crop potential such as Tung. Tung Oil is imported from China for Therapeutic Purposes. Besides, the Government of India allocates a substantial chunk of Funds for the holistic development of the North-Eastern region of India and among these one of the primary verticals is Agriculture.
Despite, India being the largest producer of Ginger, there is wastage of almost 45% owing to the lack of the processing technology. Non availability of suitable Harvesting technology , export potential crops such as Tung (which is Toxic in Nature) is not properly augmented. Skilling Initiatives in the region to equip the farmers with the latest advancements in Farm Mechanization technologies is very poor.
In the recent years, CSIR-CMERI has made the Socio-Economic development of the North-Eastern Region one of its primary Technology Objectives. In this regard, a three-pronged attitude has been adopted i.e. Increasing the Shelf-Life of the Harvest, Skill Development of the Farming Community and Reduction in Manual Handling of Toxic Crops. CSIR-CMERI is also encouraging the Transfer of Technology to MSME Clusters, which can license the Technology through a Distributed-Capital Model.
The Ginger Processing Technology comprises of the Rotary Drum Washer with a capacity of 500 kg/hr and automated capability, slicing unit and the cabinet dryer with a capacity of 50 kg/batch and a batch-time of 4-5 hours with 85-90% moisture reduction capability. Another Semi-Automated Ginger Processing Technology facilitates the automation of the process from Washing Unit to the Slicer Unit. The technology has been implemented in the Centre for Post-Harvest Processing, Tuyrial, Mizoram in association with an NGO named Community Development and Reflection (CDAR). As informed by representatives of CDAR, the implementation of the technology has empowered thousands of women from the region by providing them with round the year income generation avenues.
Another such Facility has been established in Naharlagun, Arunachal Pradesh in association with CSIR-NEIST-BLIT. Plans are also under progress for the establishment of one-such facility in Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh. A complete and perfectly synchronised Ginger/Turmeric Processing Pilot Facility is available at CSIR-CMERI for first-hand exposure and training of the Farming Community. The technology has received numerous Appreciations from different Ministries of the State and substantial Media Coverage.
The CSIR-CMERI developed Bio-Mass Fuelled Fish Dryer and the Hybridized Fish Dryer (i.e. Solar Powered/Bio-Mass Fuelled) has opened up avenues for the Fish Farmers of the region in terms of improving the shelf-life of the produce. CSIR-CMERI has also developed Technologies for creating briquettes from Bio-Mass, either with or without binders. The Briquettes may be created from Saw-Dust, Dry Leaves and Bio-Gas Slurry. The Briquettes have high-calorific value and is used as a feed for the Smoke-Free Bio-Mass Chulha. The Smoke-Free Bio-Mass Chulha is non-polluting. The Community Scale Solar Assisted Improved Bio-Mass Cooking System installed in the Guest House Kitchen has exhibited an efficiency of 28% in comparison to the 15% efficiency of the conventional cooking systems.
CSIR-CMERI has also developed three variants of Cold Storage Systems. One of the variants is the Solar-Powered variant which also incorporates Bio-Mass as the Insulation Layer. This might help in substantially reducing the Ploymer Costs for the Technology. CSIR-CMERI is also pondering upon the idea of a Vehicle Mounted Cold Storage systems, which might help in boosting the Supply Chain of fresh Agricultural produce coupled with improving the shelf-life of the same.
ShrivTali Longchar, Jt. Director, MSME-DI, Dimapur, appreciated the Sustainable Socio-Economic Impact Analysis and the Innovative Mindset of Prof. Harish Hirani. The Post-Harvest Intervention initiatives of CSIR-CMERI has the potential to hugely improve the Agro-Economic scenario of the region by improving the income of the Farmers.