Farmers learn new techniques at CFTRI

Farmers from around the country take part in a one day All India Farmers Empowering Workshop

Farmers from around the country participated in a one day All India Farmers Empowering Workshop, held at Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), here on Friday.

During the workshop, farmers were given demonstrations on three different technologies, such as processing sugarcane juice, processing virgin coconut oil and use of a small scale versatile dal mill.

The technology of processed sugarcane juice, is aimed at sugarcane cultivators of the region. Though raw sugarcane juice is carbohydrate rich, low in acid food, and has a shelf life of less than few hours. However, using the new technology developed at CFTRI, sugarcane juice can be preserved in glass bottles for up to four months, without any spoilage.

While farmers are facing losses owing to a falling coconut prices, technology of separating virgin coconut oil (VCO) is aimed at increasing the profit margin of farmers. VCO, which is in great demand in cosmetic and international culinary industry, is valued for its characteristic flavour and nutritional value. Large scale integrated processing of the oil under cooperatives, the demonstrators at CFTRI noted, could benefit the farmers by ensuring an international market for the product.
A versatile dal mill was also demonstrated.

Speaking at the valedictory of the programme, Vishakanta, Managing Director of Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Limited, said that efforts are being made by the government to reduce storage losses in agricultural and horticulture produce.

About 8-10 per cent of the agricultural produce and 25-30 per cent of fruits and vegetables, grown in the State are lost, due to inadequate warehousing facilities.
The State government is offering interest subsidy to farmers, who avail loans to build and improve storage capacities, he said.

Seeds released

Seeds of two new varieties of crops developed at CFTRI, were released at the pro gramme.

The seed varieties are ‘Chia’, a crop of Mexican and South American origin and ‘Quinoa’, a crop of high nutrient value, were distributed.

CFTRI Director Ram Rajsekharan said that scientists at CFTRI were working towards developing other varieties, and was aiming to release at least one variety every year.

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