Value Addition and Post-Harvest Processing
An area of immense importance to enhance the global competitiveness of Indian agriculture is value addition and post-harvest processing. At present, only 7% of the output of the agricultural sector is value added and 2% of the volume of perishables is processed. In view of the small and scattered farm holdings and the majority of farmers being resource-poor, strengthening of co-operatives, self-help groups, and contract farming assume significance. The need for reduction in post-harvest losses is being increasingly important. This also concerns processing technologies to follow changing consumption patterns. Post-harvest losses compromise food security and the market presence of small-scale farmers by disrupting supply or reducing the quality of products. Local storage and small-scale processing capacity has an impact on development similar to that of the construction of other rural infrastructure. In Component 2, the NAIP will address the whole PCS, improving knowledge on post-harvest losses and tackling the most critical elements in the system, including quality assurance mechanisms to meet domestic needs and international trade requirements. In fact, the scope extends to issues in the food chain of human beings and animals. In view of the complexity of changes in post-harvest and processing practices, attention may also be given to the development and introduction of promising storage and processing technologies for small farmers.