BBA Students Visit to the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research in Bengaluru

On 28th March 2024, the BBA 4th semester students visited the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) in Bengaluru. The visit aimed to provide insights into the horticulture industry, understand research processes and explore the practical applications of agri-businesses focusing on agro-food processing and agri-food value chain management within IIHR, which extends one-stop solutions for various aspects of post-harvest management and processing of food commodities, including technical assistance to farmers and entrepreneurs in establishing food processing businesses. The institute boasts several food processing units, juice production, and snack manufacturing including ready-to-drink jackfruit beverages, jackfruit seed powder, mushroom-based chocolate, cookies, and snacks.

IIHR is India’s premier horticultural research institution under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). It focuses on research and development in the field of horticulture, encompassing fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, medicinal and aromatic plants, and mushrooms. Established in 1967, IIHR has been instrumental in promoting innovation and sustainability in the horticulture sector.

IIHR has implemented several protocols to minimise post-harvest losses through effective pre- and post-harvest management strategies. Many technologies for handling, storage, preservation, and processing of fruits, vegetables, and flowers have been standardised. A good number of farm machinery has been developed to reduce labour requirements and drudgery.

The visit began with a welcome address by Dr. Ravi Bhushan Tiwari (Principal Scientist & Head-Division of Post Harvest Technology and Agricultural Engineering IIHR) who provided an overview of the institute’s history, mission, and key research areas.

During the tour of the various research facilities, including laboratories, greenhouses, and experimental fields, the students observed ongoing research projects and learned about advanced technologies used in horticultural research. and post-harvest technologies.

The tour covered the process of fruit juice extraction and processing, offering a comprehensive understanding of fruit pulp production and auxiliary units. The visit delved into the fully automated extrusion unit responsible for Kurkure production. Following extrusion, Kurkure was seamlessly transitioned to a continuous electric dryer, then onto a seasoning machine and automatic filler, showcasing a streamlined production process.

The students had the opportunity to interact with IIHR scientists and researchers. They discussed research methodologies, challenges in horticultural research, and career opportunities in this field. IHR experts presented some of the institute’s recent innovations and breakthroughs in horticulture. This included discussions on new plant varieties, pest management techniques,

During the Q&A session, students asked questions about IIHR’s research activities, funding, and collaborations with industry. This session provided valuable insights into the business aspects of a research institution.

The visit to IIHR provided the BBA students with a unique perspective on the intersection of science and business. Students gained insights into how a research institution operates and manages its resources effectively. The visit highlighted the importance of innovation in driving industry growth and sustainability. The students learned about career paths in agribusiness, horticultural research, and related industries. The visit illustrated how business administration principles can be applied in the research context such as project management, funding, and collaboration with stakeholders.

The insights gained from this visit will be valuable for students as they progress in their academic and professional journeys.