New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday said the government was planning to draw a sustainable roadmap to keep soaring prices of staples tomato, onion and potato in control, an official statement said.
“Under ‘Operation Greens’, we shall be creating a sustainable road map to ensure that tomato onion potato (TOP) are available in every nook and corner of the country round the year without any price volatility,” she said, as per the statement.
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the vegetables growers were among his government’s priority and Rs 500 crore has been allocated for Operation Greens, which aims at doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
Badal also said the government had plans to compress the supply chains and create appropriate climate infrastructure for natural preservation of these commodities, besides promoting Farmers Producers Organizations, Agri Logistics Processing facilities and professional management.
The Minister said establishment of Specialised Agro Processing Financial Institutions as announced in the Union Budget would unlock finance for setting up food processing industries.
“These institutions would help overcome the deterrents faced while installing food processing projects that are capital intensive and have long gestation period, by ensuring timely, accessible and affordable credit to this sector,” she said.
She said the thrust was given in the Budget for promoting agri-clusters and mega food parks “to strengthen farmers”.
Badal also said about $4 billion of the intended investment of $14 billion – pledged MoUs during World Food India event held last year – had translated into the actual investment.
Food processing sector constitutes around eight per cent and 10 per cent of Gross Value Added (GVA) in manufacturing and agriculture sector in 2015-16, the minister said.
“Value of processed food export has increased to $13.9 billion on 2016-17 which constitutes 11.2 per cent of India’s total export,” she said.