Solar-powered vending vans to be introduced in Karnataka: IIHR

Bengaluru: Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) announced on Friday that a total of 23 solar-powered vending vans carrying vegetables and fruits will soon be introduced in Karnataka.

This initiative is to help increase the shelf life of the produce and would in turn address the major challenge that horticultural producers face, said a media report quoting IIHR official. 23 solar-powered vegetable and fruit vending vans that would increase the shelf life of the produce by at least two days will roll out in Karnataka, a top IIHR official said.

Speaking to reporters, Director, M R Dinesh said. “We have developed vegetable and fruit vending vans. The state government under the Sujala Water Shed Development Project, which is a world bank scheme, had asked us to prepare a van. As you know that the vegetables and fruits don’t have long shelf life, they asked us to prepare a van.”

Such vans would be set up in the interior districts of the State because wherever vegetable clusters are there, setting them up in such points will be more useful, said Dinesh.

The vans would maintain temperature at 14 degree celsius and the humidity would be maintained by the solar panel. Also the vans would include seed vending machines. These seeds are developed by the IIHR and would be of high-yielding variety.

It is reported that Horticulture Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and Producing Society (HOPCOMS) in Mysuru have received the first batch of these vans.

The IIHR is also looking to avoid middlemen and so plans to promote the sale of the produce through the Farmers Produce Organisations (FPOs).

“These are the things we are doing through FPOs because instead of a single farmer, FPO, which is a congregation of farmers, will be a strong body to market things,” said Dinesh. He also added that solar-powered vending vans would also be introduced at railway stations and bus terminus in two to three months in the State.

Dinesh further said that IIHR has released 285 high-yielding and disease-resistant varieties in fruits, vegetables, flowers and medicinal crops for the benefit of farming community. “The institute has released 144 technologies for the benefit of farming community, the impact of which through technologies like Dogridge rootstocks, biopesticides, high yielding varieties and micro nutrient formulations has resulted in (a revenue of) Rs 13,220 crore annually,” Dinesh added.