Reducing food wastage in India through training and chain cooperation
"Bring the Indian vegetable market to a higher level.”
FoodTechIndia aims to reduce food wastage by establishing an improved supply and cold chain. Product Development Manager at Rijk Zwaan India, Venugopal Reddy, has been involved in FoodTechIndia since its launch in 2015. He tells us more about the initiative.
Reducing food wastage
India has a rising population of 1.3 billion people. While the country’s farmers are able to grow sufficient grains, fruit and vegetables for the domestic market, poor handling of fresh food results in considerable wastage, amounting to 18% every year. FoodTechIndia aims to reduce food wastage by establishing an integrated supply and cold chain for vegetable cultivation in greenhouses. This initiative enables sustainable, inclusive, economic growth among local small-scale farmers in India. The public-private partnership was launched in 2015. FoodTechIndia collaborated with partners to support and train Karnataka growers, working towards a vision of a waste-free India. Rijk Zwaan, Larive and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs are involved in the project, amongst other partners.
Improve position of farmers and growers
“Rijk Zwaan supplies high-quality seeds for indoor cultivation. Farmers are achieving a higher yield and their economic level has dramatically improved, compared to the open field. Up till now, growers have not been really aware of the importance of producing high-quality vegetables. We therefore also train growers, improving their knowledge on how to produce high-quality vegetables by using fewer crop protection products in the greenhouses. This training extends beyond cultivation. Growers also receive training on how to prolong shelf life through sorting and grading”, explains Vengopal.
“All partners have brought good synergy for the common good of elevating the grower and helping them grow better vegetables. I see that the knowledge level of the grower has increased. Growers have gained experience in growing good quality vegetables and therefore get higher prices from the retailer. They are also more involved in the entire production chain and value the importance of packing, logistics and using fewer crop protection products. A good example is a grower in the Bashetahalli village who has been involved in FoodTechIndia since the start. He is really committed and very eager to learn and share his newly acquired knowledge with other growers.”
It really motivates me that, through my experience in different countries and markets, I now have the opportunity to share my experiences with growers in India. My goal? To bring the Indian vegetable market to a higher level!”
Together with Venugopal, Rijk Zwaan aims to contribute to the Sustainable Developments Goals of the United Nations: ‘Responsible consumption and production’ (SDG 12) and ‘Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development’ (SDG 17).
Read more about our approach.