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A five-day training course on “Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables” was organized by the Department of Food and Nutrition, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), at the village Khandoor of Ludhiana district. A total of 30 young women attended the course, conducted under the Entrepreneurship Development Programme for SC beneficiaries (ICAR, New Delhi).

Dr Kiran Grover, Head, Department of Food and Nutrition, informed that the training course was one of the efforts to promote livelihood. It was based on skill orientation where participants learned from hands-on-training/practices, so that they get better returns from their farm produce, she added. Further by adopting various preservation techniques, trainees can reduce the wastage, increase their family income and improve the availability of variety of nutrients and taste during off season, she observed.

Dr Sonika Sharma and Dr Neerja Singla, Professors, Food and Nutrition, coordinated the training course. They informed that the participants were trained and technical guidance was provided to prepare jam, squash, pickles, chutneys, purees and beverages using seasonal fruits and vegetables as amla, kinnow, lemon, guava, cauliflower, carrots, turnip black carrots, peas, ginger, garlic and chilies. The processing techniques for dehydration using solar drier and storage by freezing were also demonstrated, they added.

Besides, the students of the department imparted knowledge on prevention and management of anaemia, utilization of millets in daily diet, and dietary management for obesity and diabetes.

The participants showed keen interest and involvement in learning preservation techniques. They shared that from now onwards, they could save and earn money by preserving seasonal fruits and vegetables for their use in off season both for domestic as well as commercial purposes.

Sardar Jasvir Singh Deol, Sarpanch, village Khandoor, expressed his gratitude to PAU for the successful organization of the course in the village and assured all type of support for their better economic growth. He promised to make necessary arrangements for their exposure visit to PAU during Kisan Mela to be held on March 14 and 15.

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