Farmers should draw up a proper plan before going for producing vegetables to prevent approximately 30 per cent wastage of perishable items, a senior scientist of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has said.

“From deciding which crop to take up to taking orders from the market in advance to keeping market statistics of previous seasons will help farmers from losing 30 per cent wastage of perishable vegetables,” said Shivendra Kumar, Principal Scientist, ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region, Plandu.

“Most of the times it is also found that the produce is not based on market demand...all these (bottlenecks) lead farmers suffer loss —— not only at their farmland but also at primary or secondary market places.

“Tomatoes and other perishable vegetables are lying on roadside for two days in the open without any shed wasting the life of the item for two days on the road before it goes to the market,” he added.

Asked whether cold storages were the solution to stem the rot, he said customers always desire for fresh vegetables, and if one could take them to the market on time instead of putting them in cold storages then both customers and farmers would benefit.

Citing how modern technology could give statistics of productions, market prices and weather conditions that prevailed during previous seasons, he advised farmers to keenly follow these and draw a strategy before going for the next crop.

“This will give farmers more profit,” he said, adding, the government and the ‘Bazaar Samitees’ have a big role by providing farmers with shelters, other logistics and a good transport system,” Kumar said.

(This article was published on November 20, 2013)
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