It is estimated that post harvest wastage of agricultural produce is huge in India, ( may be in many other developing countries too) ranging from 6 Bilion to 15 Billion US $, according to various authentic reports. This is an unacceptable proposition for any society, leave alone a developing society. What is more dis-hearatening is the fact that the most vulnerable sections of the society is bearing the brunt of this collosal wastage. While we have adeaquate large scale cold store units in place to store large voulmes of agri produce and also most of homes with small home refregerators provide for user end storage of vegetables, the leaking gap is mainly in the small farmers market. This where the vegetables are kept in the open for sales and gets rotten.
With Development Market Place support, TREC-STEP deployed an expert technology group to understand the problem and field requriements and now have designed and installed 5 cold store units in Small Farmers Markets. This would provide a wide demonstration and usage area since all these five towns, where the farmers markets are located and now Cold store units installed, are 150 to 600 kms apart. Each of these small towns, in the state of Tamilnadu have small farmers market where 200 to 300 small farmers come every day to sell their produce. The Cold Storage Units designed by TREC-STEP under this DM Project is providing them invaluable support. We have just commissioned and the initial results are more than encouraging and very inspiring, indeed.
Now we need to take it forward for mass replication elsewhere in other geographies. The DM Fraternity should be the first to take this call and come forward to take it to the advantage of their small farming communities, fighting waste and creating wealth all the way.
Encouraged by this great results, we are now in the process of preparing for another Post Harvest Waste redcution call for proposal for 3 million euros from the European Commissiion. Motivated by this DM success story, we are making the mini cold storage as one of the main component of the propsoal on the anvil. Mini Cold Store Units powered by Solar and Waste based Bio Gasifiers are other add-ons which will be taken under this proposal along with host of other issues for Research, Action and Dissemination. All this would not have happened with DM support and recognition. Therefore I invite our DM Partners and Friends to joins us in this great effort to develpment reach-out initiative.........
Some Photographs of the Project ....
1. Farmers Market Wastage:
3. Commissioning Mini Cold Store Units: On-site Training of Unemployed youth
4. Commissioning of Mini Cold Storage Units: Skill Training of Unemployed youth