Horticulture industry is the new normal. Food processing departments in both union and state governments are continuously stilting this promising sector. There has been a significant shift of many FBOs and their counterparts towards the cause and people are hopeful too for the boost it would bring to this post COVID world.
Recently State Horticulture department of Tamil Nadu has opened a Horticulture based food processing plant which is outsourcing a huge amount of health and ready to go products. The newly set up Karumandurai farm sprawls over 1000 acres and has started producing variety of products such as jellies, jams etc.
According to the authorities, the department cultivates guava, mangoes, papaya, amla and tomato, brinjal, chillies and a few other varieties using organic methods. No chemical fertilizers are used. As part of imparting training to farmers and to develop value-added products, the department has set up the processing centre on the premises at ₹15 lakh.
The officials said the products did not contain any preservatives and they would be marketed through Tamil Nadu Horticulture Development Agency outlets. At present, they were manufacturing pickles from lemon, amla and garlic. Jams, jellies and squashes were being produced from guava, papaya, apple, grapes and mango.
V. Sathya, Deputy Director, Horticulture, said, “at present, we are producing 500 kg of various products and we are planning to increase it to one tonne gradually.”
This promising sector has a powerful prospect imbibing surely and bountifully in the coming years. This shift is due to huge tilt of population towards the room-sized farming and organic farming practices. After green revolution there increased a ton in use of fertilizers and pesticides and over a time period the chemicals accumulated badly in the food chain and reduced the quality we had earlier. This problem is now judged by the communities and people are focussed to grow organic and eat organic in effort to bring the quality in complement to quantity.