British experts are at work in India to help its farmers make the most of their crops with improved post-harvest management and clean, sustainable chilled distribution systems.


Half of India’s employment depends on agriculture, and its Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has stated that his vision is to double farmers’ income.

The huge country’s various state authorities have been charged with setting up a series of ‘Integrated Pack Houses’ that will aggregate clusters of smallholder farmers and connect them to markets by refrigerated transport links that use energy efficient and sustainable technologies – reducing food loss and decreasing the amount of wasted produce. The Indian government hopes to see as many as 22,000 of these new agri-processing and logistics hubs.

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 the first of a kind ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Haryana to support roll-out of sustainable post-harvest management and cooling at scale.

Led by experts from the newly formed Centre for Sustainable Cooling at the University of Birmingham, the UK team also includes academics from Cranfield University, London South Bank University, University of Greenwich and NIAB East Malling Research as well as industry experts including Martin Lishman.

Toby Peters, Professor of Cold Economy at Birmingham, commented: “Food loss is a major challenge with up to 40% of some produce grown lost between farm and market. Focusing on how food can be saved in the supply chain is as important as food produced.

“Access to cooling is not a luxury,” strewssed Prof Peters. “It is about fresh food, safe medicines and protection from heat for populations in a warming world. It is vital for economic productivity as it allows workers, farmers and students to function effectively in comfortable environments.”

Original Article:

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