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The lack of post-harvest infrastructure in Karnataka is resulting in huge quantities of horticulture products in the state going waste. Apart from focusing on the enhancement of product and productivity, there is an urgent need to preserve horticulture and agriculture produce.
In India nearly 30 per cent of the agricultural and horticultural produce is wasted, according to M K Shankarlinge Gowda, principal secretary, department of horticulture and agriculture, government of Karnataka.
Inaugurating the five day international symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables organised jointly by University of Agricultural Sciences and International Society for Horticultural Science at UAS here in Monday, he said horticulture is a very important area which keeps and holds the key progress of our country.
After the success of the Green Revolution in agriculture, India is now moving towards the Golden Revolution comprising the fruits and vegetables which assumes great significance, adds value not only in the context of farmers’ income but also its contribution to the national GDP.
Currently the post harvest loss of fruits and vegetables is to the tune of Rs 44,000 crores ie, $10 billion due to unscientific technologies being followed, he said. Gowda said, Karnataka annually produces 15 million tonnes of fruits in 1.9 million hectares of land.
He called on scientists to help make horticulture and agriculture knowledge-driven occupations.
Aravindkumar, Deputy Director General (Education), Indian Council of Agriculture Research, New Delhi, said, India with the production of 260 million tonnes of foodgrains also faced with the challenges of feeding safe food free from pesticides and heavy metals to the growing population of 120 billion and one-sixth of the global live stock, apart from adapting to the fast-changing climate.
Dr Prabhu Dev, chairman, Karnataka Health Systems Commission, Karnataka, delivering the keynote address, said all the seven major nutrients required for good health could be obtained by fruits and vegetables. Apart from nutrition, fruits and vegetable could save 2.7 million lives every year by the magic ingredients present in it.
The phyto-chemicals exhibit antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous and prevent gastrointestinal problems, birth defects such as spina bifida and many more diseases. He strongly recommended a rainbow diet i.e., inclusion of all coloured fruits and vegetables in the daily diet.