The country's only irradiation centre at Lasalgaon, about 70 kms from Nashik, has irradiated a record 295 metric tonnes of mangoes for export to USA in the current mango season. This is the highest quantity irradiated since the centre started treating mangoes in 2009.
As per norms, it is mandatory to irradiate the king of fruits before being shipped to the USA. Around seven metric tonnes of mangoes are irradiated in eight-hour shifts daily at the Lasalgaon facility.
The Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) started irradiation of mangoes from the beginning of the mango season for export.
Speaking to TOI, an MSAMB official said, "We have crossed the target set for the irradiation centre at Lasalgaon in Nashik district. We irradiated 295 metric tonnes of mangoes this season, against the 281 metric tonnes last season. The irradiation of mangoes continued upto July 15."
The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) set up the irradiation centre known as Krushak- Krushi Utpadan Sanrakshan Kendra at Lasalgaon, 70 kms from Nashik city, to irradiate the agricultural commodities for their preservation in 2002. This is the lone irradiation centre in the country.
The plant was dedicated to the nation by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on October 31,2002. The irradiation facility at Lasalgoan is commercially operated by the MSAMB, under a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding between BARC, Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT) and MSAMB.
The MSAMB is in the process of setting up its own irradiation centre at Vashi at a cost of Rs 35 crore and it is expected to be operational by September end this year. This will be the second irradiation centre in the country. The MSAMB is also planning irradiation of onion powder and pomegranates for export purposes to USA from the Lasalgaon facility.
Publication date: 7/22/2014