Solan, Mar 24 : After dahlia centre, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has adjudged the All India Coordinated Research Project on Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (AICRP on PHET) Solan centre of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni as the ‘Best Centre’ for the year .
The centre has been ranked at number one position from among 31 AICRP centers from all over the country. This win makes it two ‘Best Centre’ awards in two weeks for the university as the apiculture centre from the university had also won a similar award.
The Solan centre has been functioning since 2004 in the Department of Food Science and Technology and is working on temperate fruits especially apple, pear, kiwi, mushroom, ginger and some underutilized grains of the state.
The award was given during the 34th annual workshop of AICRP on PHET held at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore recently. The research engineers and scientists from the 31 AICRP on PHET centers from the country, participated in the workshop and presented their progress report. Three UHF scientists from the Solan centre; Dr Devina Vaidya, Dr Manisha Kaushal and Dr Anil Gupta, presented their progress report, new project proposals and machinery/process protocols developed by them during the meet.
“The assessment for the award was made on the basis of yearly progress made by the centers on the mandate of AICRP on PHET, like development of process protocols, machinery, pilot scale testing of developed technology, entrepreneurship development and dissemination of developed technologies among farmers and scientific community,” said Dr Devina Vaidya, Principal Investigator of the centre.
Dr Anju Dhiman, head of department of Food Science and Technology said that the centre has developed complete value chain for apple, ginger and aloevera and a number of machinery like apple corer, apple seed extractor, pilot plants for osmotic dehydration and pectin extraction from apple have been designed and fabricated. The centre has developed a large number of process protocols for the development of ginger-based, mushroom fortified products and composite flour from underutilized grains.
Congratulating the scientists on their achievement, Dr HC Sharma, Vice-Chancellor said, “The department and the centre have been quite successful in the transfer of the developed technologies to the farmers and the entrepreneurs and five technologies developed by it has been sold to companies in the past few months.”
Director Research Dr JN Sharma, Dean Horticulture Dr Rakesh Gupta and other faculty and staff also congratulated the scientists for bringing laurels to the university.