India, Russia sign agreement to set up agro irradiation centres

Oct 14, 2016 15:00 IST

India and Russia on 13 October 2016 signed a bilateral agreement for cooperation in the development of a network of integrated infrastructure irradiation centres.

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The agreement was signed between the Indian Agricultural Association, Hindustan Agro Co-Op Ltd (HACL) and United Innovation Corporation (UIC), a subsidiary of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation of Russia.

It was signed by Bharat Dhokane Pandurang, Chairman of HACL and Denis Cherednichenko, CEO of UIC.

Highlights of the Agreement

• It will be implemented through a Joint Venture and aims to set up 25 integrated irradiation centres.
• In the first phase, seven centres will be set up in Maharashtra, which will begin with the upgradation of the current centre at Rahuri in Ahmednagar district.
• The 7 centres are likely to be established in Sindhurg, Satara, Solapur, JNPT, Jalana, Napur and Pune in the first phase.
• UIC will be a technology partner and will help set up the irradiation centres in India.

Background

In India, according to estimates, post-harvest losses in food and food grains are around 40-50 percent, primarily due to insect infestation, microbiological contamination, and poor shelf life.

In irradiation, food products are subjected to a low dosage of radiation to treat them for germs and insects, increasing their longevity and shelf life. The use of irradiation will make it possible to reduce the loss of food products in India.

Radiation treatment is carried out in dosage recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It neither reduces the nutritional value of food nor spoils their taste and appearance.

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