New Delhi: The ministry of rural development will hold a high-level inter-ministerial meeting to review the use of radiation for preserving perishable food and agriculture commodities to enhance their shelf life and prevent food wastage.

On Wednesday, a group of senior officials from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) will present an integrated plan before the group of ministers.

Anil Kakodkar, former chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, A.K. Sharma, head, food technology division, BARC, and A.K. Kohli, chief executive officer, Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT) at BARC, “will present a blueprint of an integrated plan before a group of seven ministers aimed at providing a sustainable solution attuned to curb inflationary trends in agriculture produce," a statement from the rural development ministry said.

The meeting, convened at the initiative of rural development minister Nitin Gadkari, will be attended by minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, minister of food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal, minister of state for the development of North-Eastern region Gen. (retd) V.K. Singh, and minister of state for food processing industries Sanjeev Kumar Balyan.

According to Gadkari, the idea is to suggest application of the model at the national level for all agriculture produces for the benefit of the farming community.

“The aim of the meeting is to see how to use radiation technology to preserve fruits and vegetables, which will increase the shelf life of these commodities and which, in turn, will help lower inflation and hoarding of commodities when in short supply," said an official of the ministry of rural development, who did not want to be named.

More than 10,000 farmers in Maharashtra have benefited from the use of radiation technology implemented for onions under the guidance and assistance of Kakodkar and his team at BARC.

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