NEW DELHI, Dec. 28, Reuter: Nearly one third of India’s fruit and vegetables go to waste each year for lack of processing facilities, according to the head of the country’s largest agricultural cooperative agency.

Kamaluddin Ahmed, chairman of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation, quoted official estimates that India produced 55 million tons of fruit and vegetables each year.

Of this, he wrote in the Federation’s Marketing Review published today, the country lost an estimated 30 percent, worth around 1.5 billion dollars, because of the lack of a proper food processing industry.

Ahmed noted that India, because of its varied land and climate, was able to grow a wide range of fruit and vegetables, but could process less than one per cent of its output.

Of the country’s net cultivated area of 140 million hectares (350 million acres), more than 90 per cent was devoted to food and commercial crops, which were not perishable, said Ahmed.

But the five per cent of cultivated area devoted to horticultural Crops needed an efficient system of handling packing and transportation, which was at present lacking.

Ahmed said his organization was trying to improve marketing of a range of fruit and vegetables including onions, potatoes, ginger, oranges and coconuts.

Article extracted from this publication >>  January 2, 1987