Special focus would be given to post harvesting for curbing losses in food grain, vegetables and fruits in the 12th five year plan (2012-2017), a senior Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has said.

“Post harvest losses stands around 4 to 6 per cent in food grains and these are estimated to be as high as 16 to 18 per cent in fruits and vegetables and these losses occur at various stages from harvesting, storage to processing,” ICAR Additional Director General K K Singh said here during a Institute Research Council (IRC) meeting held at Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET).

Emphasizing that processing could open up new avenues of growth in agriculture while checking losses, he said, “In India, processing is as low as 10 to 12 per cent, while developed countries process up to 70 per cent of their food“.

Speaking on nutritional status in the country, he lamented that according to National Family Health Survey (NFHS) sizeable population of children below three years was underweight. “We need to work on health foods,” he suggested.

CIPHET Director CIPHET R K Gupta said that they would focus on how scientific manpower could be suitably used in different divisions of institute.