Dr Natalia Falagan from Cranfield University was among British experts in Delhi, Haryana and Hyderabad in India on a scoping study tour to develop a local model for Post-Harvest Management (PHM) and cold-chain storage hub. Improving fresh fruit and vegetable post-harvest management by using sustainable technology, such as cold storage and distribution systems, is key to preventing food wastage and boosting the income for Indian farmers.
The Government of India is keen to develop projects, including joint collaborative research that can demonstrate innovative, sustainable technologies for packhouse design and management, and cold-chain solutions.
Haryana State Government, for example, is planning to build more than 350 packhouses in the state while the Government of India is targeting 22,000 new agri-processing and logistics hubs. Half of India’s employment depends on agriculture. Prime Minister Modi has stated his vision for doubling farmers' income to set a strategic direction for future development.
In partnership with the British High Commission in India and the Agri-Tech sector team at the Department for International Trade, British experts are developing a plan for a UK India collaboration for the first of a kind ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Haryana to support roll-out of sustainable post-harvest management and cooling at scale in India.
Dr Natalia Falagan, Research Fellow in Food Science and Technology at Cranfield University, said: “Food waste is a worldwide problem. It is fantastic to see this international collaboration and partnership between the UK and India. I hope that the expertise we can offer through the application of post-harvest technology can help Indian farmers boost their earnings and help the Indian Government achieve its ambitions for the agricultural industry.”
Led by the University of Birmingham, the UK team, featured Dr Natalia Falagan from Cranfield University as well as academics from London South Bank University, the University of Greenwich and NIAB East Malling Research as well as industry experts including Martin Lishman.
Information gathered in India last week will form the basis of an industry workshop on 2 April 2020 hosted by the University of Birmingham to consider opportunities for industry engagement in this fast-growing market opportunity.
About Cranfield University
Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.