India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world after China. It accounts for about 15 per cent of the world’s production of vegetables.
As per the latest estimates, by Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana, the wastage of fresh horticultural produce is upto 18 per cent due to poor post-harvest management practices. In the case of Ladakh Apricots, the wastage due to absence of proper post-harvest infrastructure, the wastage could even touch 50%. Hardly 2 per cent of perishable horticultural produce is processed to value added products. Hence, there is huge scope for processing of fruits and vegetables. This wastage can be easily prevented by adopting various methods of preservations. At the same time, there is market glut during harvesting season and farmers are forced to sell their produce at throw away prices. Therefore, food processing industries can help farmers to get sure income for their produce and also avoid market glut.
There are various methods of preservation of food including thermal processing, fermentation, pickling, dehydration, freezing etc. The technology for preservation also varies with type of products and targeted market. Some of fast growing segments of food processing industries are given as under:
Our Plan includes:
History of technology: Food production
Food production has been subject to technological innovation such as accelerated freeze-drying and irradiation as methods of preservation, as well as the increasing mechanization of farming throughout the world.Drying under vacuum is especially beneficial to fruits and vegetables. Freeze-drying benefits heat-sensitive products by dehydrating in the frozen state without intermediate thaw. Freeze-drying of meat yields a product of excellent stability.
Freeze-drying, employs high vacuum conditions, permitting establishment of specific temperature and pressure conditions. The raw food is frozen, and the low pressure conditions cause the ice in the food to sublimate directly into vapour (i.e., it does not transit through the liquid state).
The vacuum freeze-drying technology involves drying by sublimation. Fruits/ vegetables/ herbs/spices/flowers/pet products/sea foods/meats/herbals extracts/dairy products/instant foods which are to be freeze-dried are first frozen externally in a blast or a deep freezer up to - 20 to -25 degCelcius and this frozen material is loaded in drying chamber. And with radiation heating in chamber under vacuum, the water vapors are drawn from the frozen material and these vapors are collected in ice condensers. So unlike other conventional drying methods, heating/thermal shocks are not given to the material to be dried. That is the reason, the color, texture, taste, flavor and mainly the active ingredients (proteins, vitamins etc.) of the material remains as it is. Freeze-dried material is considered as next to fresh material.
Ice cream production
Ice cream can also be freeze-dried by the removal of 99 percent of the water. Freeze-drying eliminates the need for refrigeration and provides a high-energy food for hikers and campers and a “filling” centre for candy and other confections.
Freeze dried ice cream
Many machines are available to perform tunnel drying, vacuum drying, drum drying, spray drying, and freeze-drying. Although freeze-drying produces a food of outstanding quality, the cost is high, and it has not been used widely in vegetable products.
ADVANTAGES OF FREEZE DRIED PRODUCTS:
The MOU signed with LAHDC is for about 1000 hectares of wasteland to be developed by us. The pilot project for the initial 2 years was started in 2016. About 25 hectares have been brought under crop cultivation first time in thousands of years. The crops grown in 2017 are: Canola type Mustard –Breeder & certified seed ( PM 30), Hybrid Maize, Hybrid Arhar, Hybrid Wheat, Sunflower, a few fodder crops, Rajma, Peas, Lobia ( Kidney beans ) several types of local & outside vegetables and flowers, a few grafted nursery seedlings of Chinar, Walnut and Apple fruits.
Minimum land development, retaining natural slopes and contours are the first Mantra of this project. This saves a lot of money, does not disturb the top soil and provides the natural drainage in case of any cloudburst or unusual and heavy downpour. The latest irrigation technologies also eliminate the need for land development / land leveling.Read More
First time tried in Ladakh. Hydro-seeding has been successfully demonstrated on the foothills of mountains on two sides of our project site. In both the places, fodder seeds brought from other states, germinated well and had good luxuriant growth. After the Hon’ble CEC , EC – Agri. Of LAHDC and other officials visited the hydro-seeding plots, the areas were thrown open for the stray...Read More
Cropping plans were slightly modified in order to show quick payback and to ensure project sustainability, cash crops were given priority. Hence oilseeds – Mustard & Sunflower were chosen in the first instance. The latest Canola type Mustard variety – PM 30, which was released by IARI only last year, became our main cash crop in 2017. Breeder & Certified seeds were obtained...Read More
Breeder seed of Canola type Mustard – PM 30 variety, released by IARI, has been brought in under license and sown on more than 15 acres. The certified seed thus produced would be distributed to the local Ladakhi farmers to increase the total area under PM30 mustard variety. Similarly, the promising varieties of other crops would be selected for seed production...Read More
The soils in Ladakh are severally deficient in the organic matter, mainly due to negligible tree cover ( 0.06 % forest cover in Ladakh ) and very low human and animal population. Any small quantity of fresh cow & cattle dung takes about 12 months to fully decompose and to make suitable farm yard manure.( 7 months with minus night temperature ). A technique of...Read More
The idea is to design the appropriate irrigation system for each crop. For field crops like Mustard, wheat corn etc. RainGun, or traveler irrigation in the form of Truck tanker fitted with high pressure pumpsets and raingun type nozzles. The row crops like fruit plants, Roses, Boundary plantations have drip irrigation systems. Small sprinklers for vegetables...Read More
The sowing season starts well before the roads open towards Kashmir and Manali. Hence we were left with only two options. Go for hand broadcasting of seeds or design our own seed drill. We adopted both the options. We designed our own seed cum fertilizer drill and supplemented it with hand broadcasting of seeds...
In order to save on fencing > 6 Kms. Of peripheral boundary, we decided to opt for digging deep trenches along the boundary to stop stray animals walking and feeding on our growing crops. This step has been very successful even against the horses who could jump smaller obstacles and damage the growing crops.
Animal Husbandry plays a pivotal role in the rural economy and generates substantial income for the rural population. This is more true in case of Ladakh, a cold desert, lacking in sufficient tree cover, bio-mass generation and sandy soils with negligible organic matter. In order to accelerate the active role...
India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world after China. It accounts for about 15 per cent of the world’s production of vegetables.As per the latest estimates, by Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana, the wastage of fresh horticultural...