Tribune News Service
Shimla, February 27
The IIT-Mandi has agreed to design the packaging material for transporting fruits and vegetables to markets. The Himachal Pradesh State Agricultural Marketing Board had sought the institute’s help in designing a more appropriate packaging material to ensure minimum damage to the produce on the way to the market.
“IIT-Mandi has given its consent and has submitted a proposal of Rs 18 lakh for carrying out the research for designing the material. The institute has sought a time period of 18 months to finalise the design,” said board’s Managing Director Naresh Thakur.
The proposal will now come up in the Board of Directors meeting of the marketing board for final approval. “The meeting was scheduled for March 2, but has been postponed for a while,” said Thakur.
He said the IIT-designed material would be beneficial, particularly for the vegetables transported in sacks over long distances. “Potatoes and peas, for example, are transported in sacks. A part of the produce gets damaged while being transported to markets. The scientifically designed packaging material will minimise the damage,” said Thakur.
Apple, too, would benefit from the initiative. As it is, the packaging material for the fruit is a matter of intense debate among the growers. While many want to continue with telescopic cartons that can accommodate anywhere between 20 kg and 35 kg, many want a shift to universal cartons that accommodate 20 kg.
Besides, the marketing board is hopeful of floating the tender for its ambitious Parala project comprising a CA store, processing units etc, by the end of the next month. “We have received most clearances. The only one left is from the pollution board,” said Thakur.
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