Shyam Narayan Jha (50) and Rajesh Kumar Vishwakarma (41) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Central Institute of Post-harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana, will be jointly awarded `3 lakh for the development of “Makhana” seeds (Euryale ferox) roasting, popping and decorticating machine by National Research and Development Council (NRDC) of Government of India.
The cash prize will be given during a two-day function to be organised by NRDC in New Delhi on February 25 and 26.
“The machine is an outcome of pioneering and untiring efforts and contribution of 25 years of Jha in different capacities at different places of his scientific endeavour. The machine has solved a long standing demand of “makhana” growers and performs both cumbersome roasting and popping operations. It eliminates the drudgery involved in manual methods and produces better quality of popped “makhana” than the manual method. In addition, the machine also decorticate raw kernel from the conditioned seeds which hitherto was not possible and thus saves huge energy and long distance transportation cost,” said Jha.
While Kumar added, “The machine is registered, patent, commercialised and has been installed at many places in India. It has therefore increased the potential of “makhana” processing and value additions many fold.