Gujarat,one of the top 10 horticulture producing states in the country,loses almost Rs 11,400 crore worth of fruits and vegetables after harvest every year due to lack of proper storage facilities.
According to a recent study done by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) during 2011-12,Gujarat produced about 18,800 tonne of horticulture produce,including fruits and vegetables. The major fruit crops grown in the state are banana,mango,citrus and sapota (chikoo),while major vegetables are onion,potato,brinjal,tomato,okra and cucurbits.
Gujarat ranks second in post-harvest fruit and vegetable losses,which is as high as Rs 11,400 crore,followed by Bihar (over Rs 10,700 crore),Uttar Pradesh (Rs 10,300 crore) and Maharashtra (Rs 10,100 crore), said D S Rawat,national secretary general of ASSOCHAM in a release here.
Only West Bengal with losses worth over Rs 13,600 crore stands ahead of Gujarat,where the government has created a Gujarat State Horticultural Mission (GSHM) and has targeted to double the horticulture production and income in the 2012-13 fiscal,by adopting an end-to-end approach with simultaneous development of post harvest infrastructure and marketing facilities.
A study titled Horticulture Sector in India: State Level Experience,shows that in fruits production,Gujarat has grown by 29 per cent between 2008-09 and 2011-12. Only Madhya Pradesh (43%) and Uttar Pradesh (31%) have a better growth rate. However,Gujarats share in vegetable production remained stagnant.
The magnitude of post-harvest loss in fruits and vegetables can be minimised by proper
cultural operations,harvesting,transportation,storage,pre and post-harvest treatments and other such significant measures, said Rawat.
The total storage capacity in India is over 300 lakh million tonnes and there is an additional requirement of cold storage of about 370 lakh tonnes for fruit and vegetable storage,the study added.