The government of Jammu and Kashmir, in India, is starting a trial of a U.S patented technology in order to increase the shelf life of apples in the non controlled room temperature environment.
The low-cost, high-result technology is called 1-MCP and is used to maintain the freshness of fruits for longer periods in the U.S and Europe.
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Science and Technology (SKUAST) has been entrusted with the job of conducting the trial tests to find out how useful 1-MCP will be in prolonging the shelf life of fruit, particularly apples, in Jammu and Kashmir.
Of the total 1,600,500 metric tonnes of apples produced in the state, only 35% are of the export quality. In comparison, Europe exports nearly 80% of its total apple produce.
By using 1-MCP, the fruit and vegetable industries of Jammu and Kashmir will be able to continuously deliver high quality produce safely to the markets.
Jammu and Kashmir is targeting to transform its $3 billion apple industry into a whopping $150 billion business over the next five years by rejuvenating orchards and adopting the high-density plantations.
Prof Nazir Mir, a Kashmir-born scientist working in Rutgers University, New Jersey, who has done a pioneering research in 1-MCP, said ‘given the volume of production, this technology is going to be very cost-effective’.