RAMBAN: Deputy Commissioner Ramban, Mussarat Islam today inaugurated the Saptkrishi SabjiKothi, a micro-climatic storage device introduced first time in J&K UT, by the Sher-E-Kashmir University of Technology, Jammu in collaboration with the Department of Horticulture (Planning & Marketing).
Additional Deputy Commissioner, Harbans Lal Sharma, Chief Agriculture Officer, Ashwani Sharma, Chief Horticulture Officer, Anil Gorka, Area Marketing Officer, Sunil Bakshi, inventor and owner of a start-up Sabjikothi, Dr.Nikki Kumar Jha, an IITian from Kanpur who is an internationally acclaimed scientist was also present.
Appreciating Nikky Jha and the Department of Horticulture, Planning & Marketing, the Deputy Commissioner said that compared to a conventional refrigerator which can store up-to 30 to 40 KG fresh produce, the Sabjikothi offers 10 times the capacity besides saving electricity.
“The best part is that we can even transport it on thela (cart). It only requires 10 watts of power which is equivalent to the amount of power required to run your mobile phone. Our storage device is powered by a small lead-acid battery, he added.
The DC directed the officers of the Horticulture and Agriculture departments to sensitize the farmers, vendors and general people about the Saptkrishi SabjiKothi besides introducing it in the market in the larger interest of the farmers.
On the occasion, Nikky Jha explained, “Sabjikothi extends the shelf life of perishable horticultural produce through the construction of a high-humid and sterile isolated chamber. This chamber is incorporated with high-end technology that suppresses pathogens as well as the respiration rate of fruits and vegetables, thus inhibiting ethylene biosynthesis which is responsible for perishability. It oxidizes ethylene into small molecules, thus delaying browning and ripening, and also regulating the activity of the antioxidant enzyme. The controlled microclimate created inside the Sabjikothi enables the preservation of fruits and vegetables anywhere between 3 to 30 days. It works on the principle of degradation of ethylene itself, which is responsible for the perishability of fruits and vegetables.
Sabjikothi comes with the novel idea to incorporate storage and transportation solutions into one single unit while using ethylene-degradation as the preservation technique, “he added.