Reliance Plans To Give Better Taste To Valley Apples
13 December 2004
The Indian Express
Jammu: There's a good news for Jammu & Kashmir apple industry. To give a shot in the arm of state's major industry, Reliance Industries Limited has come up with a novel plan. The company plans to introduce cello-guard polymer cartons for innovative packaging of Kashmiri apple with a twin objective to increase shelf life of the product and to check deforestation due to use of wooden boxes. The new cartons especially designed for Kashmiri apples would cut the post harvest loss of the fruit, which is approximately 30 percent of the total production. A slide presentation of the newly developed plastic cartons manufactured in Italy was shown to the Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Agriculture Abdul Aziz Zargar at Jammu and Kashmir House, New Delhi, on Saturday evening by the General Manager of Reliance Industries Ltd, Sagar Verma. The Minister was told that plastic cartons are light weight, water resistant, durable with good aesthetic ambiance for consumer attraction and have also high salvage value. The product has already been introduced in Himachal Pradesh, which produces about 5.5 lakh metric tones of fresh fruit as compared to 20 lakh mts. The introduction of plastic cartons specially designed for Kashmiri fruit packaging with local graphics and labeling would enable fruit growers to fetch better remuvention in the competitive world market, said Verma adding that it would also minimise use of wooden boxes, which is one of the factors for deforestration in J&K badly effecting climatic conditions. Strongly pleading to do away with use of wood for furniture, construction and packaging, Verma said about 3,000 trees are lost every year due to use of wooden boxes for packaging of fruit. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister called for familiarising new post harvest packaging technologies to capture due share in the world market. He urged the need to make the packaging material cost effective and affordable to the fruit growers. He said vigorous awareness campaign should be initiated to convince fruit growers to adopt modern packaging concepts and grade standardisation of fruit. The Director, Horticulture, Planning and Marketing, J-K Irfan Yaseen, General Manager (Technical) Reliance Industries Ltd Dr U.K.Saroop, Deputy General Manager, Dr R.Basargekar, Senior Manager, Rajesh Jha, Deputy Manager, Piyush Jain, Pradeep Rathore of wim plast, Mumbai Deputy Director, Horticulture, Planning and Marketing, J-K G.Q.Baba were also present on the occasion. The team would also visit some parts of the Kashmir valley to have direct interaction with the fruit growers about the newly developed packing cartons-material for Kashmir apple.