Big loss as farmers, do not have irradiation plant in Gujarat, will start now

27 worth big loss as farmers do not have irradiation plant in Gujarat, will start now

Food irradiation is now becoming essential. It destroys the micro-organisms present in the food. The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recognizes radiation as an important technology to protect consumers. Fresh fruits, vegetables, meat are allowed for irradiation. Approved in Gujarat Presently there are 15 plants in India. Many hospitals and blood banks in Gujarat have blood irradiation plants. But there is less to eat. Due to this the health of the people of Gujarat is at risk.

In 1994, the Government of India approved irradiation in India for use on foods such as onions, potatoes, and spices for internal marketing and consumption. But the Gujarat government has implemented it after 27 years. Therefore, agricultural produce worth billions of rupees could not be exported. Farmers and Gujarat have suffered huge losses in 27 years.

There are currently 15 radiation plants operating in the country, including two plants set up by the Government of India (Krishak, Lasalgaon, Nashik, Maharashtra; and one radiation processing plant at Vashi, Navi Mumbai) and one each by the state governments of Maharashtra. Gujarat. 20,000 metric tonnes of food and allied products are irradiated annually in the country. MoUs have been signed with private companies to set up more plants.

The first plant in Maharashtra was set up in 2002 at Lasalgaon in Nasit, Maharashtra with the help of Sharad Pawar. Another disaster occurred in 2004 at M/s Organic Green Foods Limited, Dankuni, West Bengal. The third in Maharashtra drowned in Ambernath in Thane in 2005. But such a plant was not built in Gujarat.

The Gujarat Agricultural Radiation Processing Facility (GARPF) at Bavla has received USDA-APHIS approval. Now export of Gujarat mangoes to America will get a boost. Had such a plant been built in Gujarat 27 years ago, mangoes and other fruits worth billions of rupees would have been exported.

USDA-APHIS conducted the GARPF audit in conjunction with a team from the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO). Dt after audit The plant at Bavla was approved on 2/7/2022. This is the first plant in Gujarat to get USDA-APHIS approval for export of Mango and Pomegranate.

As per the prescribed norms, irradiation of mangoes is mandatory before exporting them to the US. The radiation procedure is conducted under the supervision of US quarantine inspectors. After this approval, mangoes will be exported directly from Gujarat.

What is food radiation?
Food irradiation is a process that uses radiation to control insects, microbes, and prevent food from spoiling. Radiation of food is similar to that of milk and canned fruits or vegetables, in that it can make food safe for consumption. Radiation does not make food radioactive, nor does it change the taste, texture or appearance of the food. During irradiation, gamma rays, X-rays or high-energy electrons pass through food, destroying or inactivating bacteria and viruses that cause foodborne illness.

Radiation – Radiation generally refers to exposure to non-ionizing radiation, such as infrared, visible light, microwaves from cellular phones, or electromagnetic waves emitted by radio and TV receivers and power supplies.

Irradiation of seeds and germplasm of plants has resulted in the cultivation of a variety of food crops around the world. The process, which involves exposing plant seeds or germplasm to radiation in the form of X-rays, UV waves, heavy-ion beams or gamma rays. DNA induces lesions, leading to mutations in the genome. The United Nations has been an active participant through the International Atomic Energy Agency. Irradiation is also used to inhibit the germination of some grains, onions, potatoes and garlic. The technique uses insecticides to breed insects.

Irradiated food is banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US. Considered safe by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The FDA is responsible for regulating food irradiation.

Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation Limited (GAIC) a state government to set up a 1,000 kilo-curie (KCI) multipurpose split type, pelletized radiation processing facility for agricultural and processed food products at Bavla in Ahmedabad district in 2014 under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. ‘s enterprise. (RKVY) has arrived out of which about Rs. 20 crore capital investment has been made. The facility has been developed with technical guidance and assistance from Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) and Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT).

It is the only facility in India that can irradiate onions, potatoes, cereals, pulses, isabgol, spices, dry onions/dry vegetables and medical products in low, medium and high doses as per requirement.

The Managing Director of Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation Limited, Shri D.K. Parekh (IAS) was present during the audit. He explained the importance of this plant to the audit team. He said that the Government of India has declared Kutch as a Mango Cluster under the Cluster Development Scheme. Therefore, this facility will reduce the export of mangoes from Gujarat in the coming time.

What will be the benefit

Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation Ltd. It has established three infrastructure facilities required for export of mangoes in the same district. It consists of an integrated pack house, a gamma radiation facility and a perishable air cargo complex. Following USDA-APHIS approval, the irradiation facility will allow better determination of mango quality and prevent waste due to transportation and spoilage.

Details of GARPF:-
• Total area 6,750 sq. meters and construction area in sq. 2,368 Sq. Meters, Mango Irradiation Capacity: @ 6 MT/hr.
• The facility has two cold storages of 30 MT and 50 MT. It has automatic material handling system with roller bed conveyor and single point loading/unloading material. Conveyor Speed ​​- Maximum 80 boxes/hr.
• This facility has been set up at a strategic location on National Highway No. 8. From here Integrated Pack House, Naroda 60 Km, Perishable Cargo Complex Ahmedabad Airport 50 Km, Pipavav Port 265 Km, Kandla Port 292 Km, Mundra Port 335 Km and Mumbai 555 Km.
• The facility is approved by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) and licensed from FSSAI and FDA for distribution of Class A and B medical products. It is an ISO 9001:2015, ISO 22000:2018 and ISO 13485:2016 certified facility.
• The soon to be developed Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) will use this facility to irradiate and process products from the northern hinterland for export from Gujarat.

According to an estimate, Maharashtra exported around 980 metric tonnes of irradiated mangoes to the United States in 2019-20. Of these, 50 to 60% mangoes were from Gujarat as USDA-APHIS approved irradiation plants were not available in the state.

The quantity of horticultural products in India is very high. The Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) researched the techniques of preservation and sanitation of food and agricultural products by radiation and established two technology demonstration units for high dose irradiation in 2000 at Vashi, Navi Mumbai and the other at low dose irradiation in 2002. For established at Krushak in Lasalgaon. Nashik (Agriculture Produce Preservation Centre) facility was established.

Radiation is very effective in treating horticultural produce. Extending the shelf life of horticultural products is highly dependent on production, variety and storage conditions. For many fresh agricultural products subjected to irradiation and proper storage, significant shelf life extension has been achieved.

A 5-10% increase in cost is generally expected due to processing fees. The cost of radiation is Rs. May range from 0.5 to 1.0/kg for low-dose applications, such as germination inhibition in potatoes and onions and insecticides in cereals and pulses; and Rs. 5-10/kg for high dose applications, such as spice treatment for microbial decontamination.

Costs can be reduced in a multi-purpose facility that treats a wide variety of products throughout the year. In many cases, the extended shelf life offsets the additional cost. Processing also benefits consumers in terms of availability, storage life, distribution and better food hygiene.

Radiation can have a stabilizing effect on commodity market prices by reducing storage losses and increasing product availability. At present its estimated price falls in the range of Rs. In addition to the cost of the land, Rs.15-20 crores. The Department of Atomic Energy provides scientific and technical assistance for setting up such facilities.

The process of setting up a facility takes around 2-3 years. This includes site selection, regulatory approvals, facility construction and obtaining the necessary documents and licenses. The Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) and the Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT) can provide scientific and technical assistance for setting up such facilities. This will depend on the number of entrepreneurs coming forward to set up radiation facilities across the country.