Speakers at a workshop said that horticulture farmers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa suffered a huge loss annually due to poor post-harvest handling, non-professional agricultural practices and lack of appropriate materials for packaging of fruits and vegetables properly.
The workshop, organised by the Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), was aimed at creating liaison among NIFA scientists, horticulturists in the provincial Agricultural Department and progressive fruit growers across the province. Officials from the Department of Agriculture Extension Wing, farmers and students from different universities from Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsadda districts attended the workshop.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Gul Sanat Shah, director, NIFA, highlighted the role of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in the field of food security and agriculture in the country with special reference to the remarkable scientific contributions and achievements of NIFA. He appreciated the scientists for their exhaustive and commendable initiative for developing a new technology for the first in Pakistan.
The director asked the fruit growers to use zero-energy cool chamber technology for storage of fruits and vegetables. He assured the growers on-field technical assistance regarding problems being faced by them through the entire growth cycle. It may be mentioned that the PAEC scientists working in NIFA Peshawar have developed a new cost-effective technology known as Zero-Energy Cooling Chamber (ZECC) for the first time in Pakistan to reduce post-harvest handling of fruits and vegetables.