ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research is a Premier institute for undertaking research, education and extension programmes in horticulture. The institute has developed many high yielding cultivars in vegetable, fruit, ornamental, medicinal crops; and farmer-friendly technologies for soil and plant health management, post-harvest management and value addition, which are widely accepted and adopted by the farmers across the country. The institute undertakes concerted efforts regularly to disseminate the technologies among the national and international stakeholders, so that the benefits of the technologies will be realized by the society.
In order to disseminate its technologies among the international society, ICAR-IIHR associates itself with national and international organizations and organizes targeted capacity building programs. "Feed The Future India Triangular Training Program (FTF ITT)" on "Post Harvest Technology in Horticultural Crops" is one such program being organized at ICAR-IIHR during November 6-20, 2017 that envisages to impart knowledge and skills for the extension workers and subject matter specialists (26) of development agencies from eight African and four Asian countries. The program is jointly sponsored by Ministry of External Affairs, India and USAID, USA and co-ordinated through MANAGE, Hyderabad, the nodal agency for FTF ITT in India.
The program intends to cover advanced practices pertaining to Post Harvest Management in Horticulture such as cost effective protocols for handling, storage and transportation of fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers, safe ripening methods and protocols, value addition, packaging methods for fresh fruits and vegetables, dehydration methods for fruits and vegetables, preparation of fruit beverages and culinary pastes, mechanization of post-harvest operations, techniques for waste valorization in horticultural crops, etc., and promotional strategies for transfer of such technologies.
Dr. M. R. Dinesh, Director, ICAR-IIHR, inaugurated this program on November 7, 2017. In his presidential address, Dr. Dinesh emphasized the importance of post-harvest technology, especially in horticultural crops, whose production is increasing year on year, but lack of adequate infrastructure for storage, packaging and distribution and low levels of processing lead to huge post-harvest losses. Dr. Dinesh also suggested to have horti-business incubators for entrepreneurship and skill development in the production hubs and also wished that the participants gain some knowledge and skills through this training programme, which can be adopted in their home countries in reducing post-harvest losses there. Dr Harinder Singh Oberoi, Principal Scientist and Head, Division of Post Harvest Technology and Agricultural Engineering, Course Director for the course emphasized on the need to have low cost on-farm storage and processing facilities and urged the participants to adopt such strategies to curtail the post-harvest losses. Dr. R. Venkattakumar, Principal Scientist and Head, Division of Social Sciences and Training, who is also one of the co-Course Directors advised the participants to replicate the Agro Business Incubator model of ICAR-IIHR in their respective countries for capacity building purpose. Dr. R. B. Tiwari, Dr. D. V. Sudhakara Rao, Dr. G. Senthil Kumaran and Mr. G. A. Atheequlla are the other Co-Course Directors from ICAR-IIHR for this program. This 15-day program also intends to design and implement back at work plan on selected technologies as preferred by the participants. This is being done to ensure that the knowledge and skill gained by the participants through the lectures, practicals and exposure visits is applied in their respective home countries.