`Lack of vegetable storage facilities costs us dearly'

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Lack of storage facilities were making India lose 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the fruits and vegetables it was growing, a seminar on Value Addition for Fruits and Vegetables in Rural Areas here was told on Thursday.

The seminar was organised by Participatory Rural Development Initiatives Society. It was sponsored by CAPART (Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology).

The loss due to the shortage in the facilities was about Rs. 24, 000 crores in a year, Chandrasekhara Rao, Director, Extension, Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, said.

Most of the frits produced could be used for fresh fruit consumption but to a limited extent were being utilised in value added processed products.

The loss could be minimised by adopting suitable scientific methods in handling and storage, he said adding that new methods were developed for extension of shelf life in some fruits and vegetables like modified atmosphere packaging for banana and controlled atmosphere packaging for mango.

The potential of the food business was to the tune of Rs. 16, 300 crores and tremendous export potential existed in case storage facilities were created, he said.

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