Successful short term storage of vegetables with CIPHET EC room
A Success story
Farmers can earn more by storing fruits and vegetables on their fields
After the successful field trails of Evaporative Cooled (EC) room for storage of fruits and vegetables, Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) is offering the technology to interested farmers. Fruits and vegetables being perishable in nature require immediate post
harvest management to reduce field heat and check microbial growth . Mo st of the time the farmers fail to get right price for them due to non-availability of storage space in his fields. CIPHET by developing simple and effective EC room at a cost of Rs 50 thousand has largely solved the problem.
Surinder Singhji Patwari, a farmer in village Jalalabad of Moga district, got an EC room constructed on his farm for field trials some time back. “For last seventeen years, I am in business of growing vegetables but was forced to sell immediately in the market due to problem, ” he said, adding that after installation of EC room his problem was solved. “I fetched many times more by selling stored tomatoes during less supply period in the market. While under the normal temperature tomatoes can not be stored for more than two days, these stay fresh for more than two weeks in EC room.”
Patwari revealed that temperature in the EC room was around of 12-15 oC less than that outside in the summers. The humidity in the room was as high as 85 % which kept the vegetables fresh. “This is also facilitating us to store milk and other vegetables crops. ” Dr Sangeeta Chopra, Senior Scientist from CIPHET, said that they use a very simple and cost effective method for maintaining low temperature and high humidity in the EC room.
“The EC room is double walled structure with space of 12 cm between them. This space is filled with fine sand free from clay and organic matter . A d rip system is connected at the top of the walls, so as to make the sand wet, she said, adding that natural ventilation was also allowed in the room. Dr Sangeeta said that lower temperature and higher humidity could be maintained in the EC room by this method and two tonnes of vegetables/fruits could be stored in it.
Director CIPHET Dr R.T Patil and Head Transfer of Technology (TOT) Division CIPHET Dr. Deepak Raj Rai said that they are ready to transfer the technology to interested farmers. “It is very economical and farmers can increase income by storing vegetables and fruits for longer period,” they said, adding that major problem of farmers of Punjab was lack of availability of economical storage of fruits and vegetables, due to which they are forced to sell at lower rates.”