India’s Food Processing Industry contributes 13 to 14 per cent of Total GDP. To maintain a balance between the demands to cost, to produce high-quality food that is safe and nutritious can be a challenge. The market size of the food and beverages industry across the nation was estimated to be around US$46 billion in 2020. Our Union and state governments are very keen to uplift this GDP major.
Targeting food processing sector’s upliftment, the Department of Agriculture Marketing and Agri Business in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, has established six primary processing centres for bananas. Five such centres have been set up for onions in the district under Supply Chain Management Scheme.
The department has already called for tenders and interested Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) or joint venture companies to bid for the same before January 20, 2021.
These banana and onion processing units are all equipped with state-of-the-art facilities having COVID-19 standards and stringent measures against any kind of pandemic if confronts any.
The officials further informed that the primary processing centres for bananas were equipped with dryers, cold storage, ripening chambers and 60 tonne weigh bridges. The centres for onions have been equipped with facilities such as sorting, peeling, packing, warehousing and 60 tonne weigh bridges.
Officials stated that two of the centres are meant for bananas which are located at Manachanallur and M.Puthur, four primary processing centres are established at Manachanallur, Thathaiyangarpet, Uppiliyapuram (South) and P.K.Agaram which have already been handed over to FPOs and the organisation is functional.
Similar amelioration programmes were also started in Andhrapradesh which was based on horticulture scheme to produce value added products.
There is a plan to meet the requirements of sustainability, where raw fibres from the banana and peels will also be used in other purposes, government is thinking about its alternative usage, will be found at its earliest.