The Department of Consumer Affairs conducted a Video Conference regarding “Grand Onion Challenge” today with Heads of Educational Institutions, Vice Chancellors, Professors, Deans of eminent institutions, Senior Academicians, executives of the startups, scientists from BARC, officers of the Department of Atomic Energy, Ministry of Education, DPIIT and professionals working in the field of Agriculture, Horticulture and Food Processing.
This challenge seeks ideas from young professionals, professors, scientists in product designs and prototypes for improving pre-harvesting techniques, primary processing, storage, and transportation of post harvested onions in the country. The challenge also seeks ideas for modernization of technology in dehydration, valorization of onions and onion food processing domain.
The Grand Onion Challenge instituted by Department of Consumer Affairs has been thrown open from 20.7.2022-15.10.2022 seeking ideas in all the above domains from the best brains in the country. More information on the challenge is available on the Department website doca.gov.in/goi
The grand onion challenge registration webpage has received 122 registrations so far and some of the participants have submitted their ideas. The Department will select 40 good ideas in the four verticals wherein improvements and technology innovations are sought and therefore, departments and organizations concerned in the country are urged to submit ideas so that cost effective solutions in saving losses in pre-harvesting, primary processing, storage and transportation of onions can be developed and Atma Nirbhar Bharat programme is supported in the process.
During the VC, Shri Shri Yogesh Patil, IAS, Assistant Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs made a brief presentation on current challenges faced by the country in storage, processing and transportation of onions. It is expected that post the challenge, the losses in onion storage can be reduced by 5-10% due to innovative ideas.
Dr. Abhay Jere, Chief Innovation Officer, Innovation Cell, Ministry of Education explained in detail the three stages of participation in the challenge and urged everyone to participate in the said challenge.
Dr. S. Gautam, Scientist, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Department of Atomic Energy explained the effect of irradiation in increasing the shelf life of stored onions based on studies undertaken, which brought to light the benefits of technology in reducing losses drastically.
Scientists and professors from various organizations/universities presented many unique ideas to reduce the losses occurring during storage and transportation of onions.
More than 282 participants from different institutions, universities, research organizations and private sector startups participated in the virtual meeting from across the country.
The Secretary, DoCA, Shri Rohit Kumar Singh urged everyone to participate in the challenge so that low cost and easily replicable technology solutions to reduce post harvested onion losses could be developed for farmers and sustainably used in the country.