A Farmer in need of a Friend? A Techy Nerd indeed!!

You can get information about an engineered box that has been developed to delay the ripening of fruits; and increase the shelf life.

How the engineered box can preserve the fruits better by ethylene inhibition.

GPMS Transportal to host the Friends of the Farmers? 

What is that!

A new portal called Friends of the Farmers is to be launched soon. 

Is that another gimmick?

In these days of Lockdowns, economic meltdowns and migrant labour walking those miles & miles to return to their distant homes, and border tensions, where are the Friends of the Farmers?

For the last few days, some of us have been working hard to locate those friends of the farmers and bring them on board a single platform. An idea that originated some two weeks back in New Delhi, has grown bigger and bigger and is now ready to burst upon us nationally today.

The Friends of the Farmers is now ready for launch.

What is in it for me?

Last Saturday, when the PSA Office and NASSCOM, launched a Webinar to leverage information, communication and technology to come as aid to the farmers and the migrants in distress, and I joined the Nation to watch, the accompanying photo of a juicy peach grown in the home garden of my brother who is a Professor in IIT Kanpur, arrived as an attachment in the social media. 

The sight of the juicy fruit made my mouth water!

Did I know that 12 to 20 percent of the fruit and vegetable products become spoiled from the time they leave the farm until they get to the retail or processing outlets. No, not till now!

After the webinar, I now know that it is estimated that 52 percent of the fresh fruits and vegetables go to waste before they even make it to the consumer. 

Food Processing technologies are no doubt what the Friends the Farmers are looking for, and these friends can surely bring the smile back to their faces, if 50% fruits and vegetables that decay before they reach the fork from the farm, are not allowed to decay!


As our Team Indian CST worked furiously to bring all the friends of the farmers on board, our GPMS Transportal, I came across this gem from one of our own research institutions.

Research studies followed up in National Institute of Plant Genome Research, (An autonomous Institute under the Department of Biotechnology), show that Ethylene, a gaseous plant hormone, is the key signal compound involved directly in the regulation of the ripening process in fruits at all its stages. The importance of nitric oxide NO in plants was conceptualized as a formulation in an engineered device, to delay the ripening. An innovative technology for delaying fruit ripening process during post harvesting seasons got developed.


Lo and behold, the scientists and technologists came up with an idea to enhance the Fruit-Shelf life using natural phenomena, without use of refrigeration. 

A technology that inhibits rather than absorbs ethylene to delay the ripening!! 

They then developed the prototype device (Engineered box) that was then tested on various fruits such as mango, custard apple, cherry tomatoes, sapota, exotic banana. The prototype provided very good results and worked to delay ripening in tomato and Broccoli too. 

Patents were filed and Three devices got ready – for the farmers, the retailers and for transportation.

FAO in one of its study reports says that access to timely and accurate information that is tailored to specific locations and conditions can be critical in helping farmers to make the most of their resources in often changing circumstances.  Examples include shifting weather patterns, fluctuating pest and disease epidemics and altered soil conditions. It can also enable them to tap into reliable credit sources and profitable markets, and engage with other important services, such as input supply and linkage to efficient value chains, etc.

How can one make already available knowledge and wisdom to the farmer on the field and help him to make the right choices in the situation that he/she finds himself/herself?

Indian Centre for Social Transformation has worked for the last TEN years, to build a dynamic GPMS Transportal  that provides processed Information for all at finger tips to facilitate decision making based on available data inputs integrated with crowd sourced knowledge and wisdom available with the domain experts! 

A portal called epashuhaat was built on the foundation provided by GPMS Transportal  in three months, for the Dairy farmers and was launched on 26/11/2016. The same has been running continuously since then. Universal Healthcare and Smart Governance are two other portals that also operate on the same solid foundation.

Thanks to epashuhaat portal being repurposed on the GPMS Transportal a portal to bring back the smile on the face of the farmers is ready for launch in a fortnight from ideation to completion. 

Let us translate our good thoughts to quick action.

To know all about it, come and click on the Friends of the Farmers.

– Sri Kumar. 13/06/2020 0825 Hrs.

R Sri Kumar
R Sri Kumar

Author and Chairman
Indian CST

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