Land allotted for irradiation plant
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION has allocated 2.5 acres of land opposite Choithram mandi to set up country?s first accelerator-based irradiation plant. It will have a capacity to irradiate 30 tonne of food per hour.india Updated: Nov 18, 2006 17:08 IST
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION has allocated 2.5 acres of land opposite Choithram mandi to set up country’s first accelerator-based irradiation plant. It will have a capacity to irradiate 30 tonne of food per hour.
The process for setting up the plant, which was to be set up at Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT) earlier, will begin within a month. RRCAT will provide irradiation facility while Horticulture Department will act as a facilitator that will motivate farmers to get their produce irradiated so that they don’t sell their products in hurry at low market rates.
Irradiation kills pathogens present in agro produce and increases their shelf life from two to six months. The interest in irradiation processing of agro and food products is emerging the world over due to persistent high food losses from infestation and contamination, mounting concern over food-borne disease and growing international trade in food products that must meet stiff standard of quality and quarantine.
The demand for setting up irradiation food park prevailed keeping in view that Malwa is a wheat, potato, soybean, onion, garlic, chilly, green vegetables and flower growing area and has potential to export. For this, farmers need cost-effective preservation technology along with grading and packaging facility. As a result, food technology park was thought to be an ideal proposition.
A group of farmers and RRCAT had demanded 11 acres of land to set up a full-fledged plant but the administration insisted they start with a pilot project to assess its viability, since its RRCAT’s maiden attempt to translate laboratory technology to field application on mass scale.
This dispute over the land size had been going on for past eight months. Although the administration has allocated land near mandi, a final decision and future modalities of the project would be discussed at Krishi Upaj Mandi meeting to be held here on November 25. Senior Agriculture Department officials from Bhopal would attend the meeting.