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India: two new tomato processing plants

25/03/2024 - François-Xavier Branthôme
Two tomato processing plants will soon open in India, one in Banalgi, in the district of Solan (Himachal Pradesh) in the north of the country, the other in the district of Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh) in the south-central part of the country.

Himachal Pradesh: Solan district is a leader in tomato production

Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Industries, Revenue and Town Planning) Ram Kumar Choudhary recently announced that the state government will soon establish a tomato-based processing industry in Banalgi in Himachal Pradesh.
Mr. Choudhary said that to strengthen the economy of farmers, it is necessary that they get fair price for their produce. He explained that agriculture and horticulture based food processing industries can play an important role in this direction, adding that Solan district is a leader in tomato production and there is huge potential for economic transformation through tomato based processing industry in the district.

While this will ensure full utilization of the tomato crop produced in the state, it will also strengthen the economy of the farmers. Ram Kumar Chaudhary said that the economy of Himachal is mainly dependent on agriculture and the state government is laying special emphasis on the use of advanced technology in the agriculture sector. Basic facilities and necessary infrastructure are being provided in all the markets of the state. He said that it is being ensured to provide fair price and advanced technology to the farmers for their produce.

Mr. Choudhary urged all the farmers of the area to join the Farmer Producer Association and become helpful in strengthening their own and the state’s economy: a farmer producer organization (Kasauli Hill Farm Producer, Processing, and Marketing Co-operative Society Limited, Dharampur) has been formed and so far, 155 farmers have registered in this organization.

Andhra Pradesh: Tomato processing unit at Pathikonda to benefit farmers
The tomato processing unit being established in Pathikonda (Kurnool district) and managed by a local farmer producer organisation (FPO) would be a boon to local tomato farmers. The unit is designed to provide solutions for excess production of tomatoes during peak seasons.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy laid the foundation for the Rs 12 crore (Euro 1.325 million, USD 1.45 million) project on Nov 30. The works were expected to be completed within six months. The district administration has provided 3.6 acres (1.5 ha) of land to the Andhra Pradesh (AP) Food Processing Society (APFPS) for the purpose.

AP leads in tomato productivity with an output of 41.22 metric tonnes per hectare. The state has 62,000 hectares of tomato cultivation, yielding about 22.17 lakh metric tonnes (2.217 million tonnes). In Kurnool district, tomatoes are grown on 4,788 hectares, producing around 167,591 t annually. Pathikonda constituency is known for its tomato cultivation by small farmers having 1 to 3 acres (0.4 to 1.2 ha) of land each.
Tomatoes are grown mainly in two seasons -- August to October and December to April. Farmers sell their produce at the Pathikonda wholesale market, the second largest market in Andhra Pradesh -- after the Madanapalle market in Chittoor district. However, due to market price fluctuations, farmers often don't get fair prices.

The processing unit on Pathikonda-Hosur Road aims to address this by reducing wastage and promoting entrepreneurship, said B. Umadevi, project director of AP micro irrigation project. The issue of tomato wastage due to inadequate post-harvest infrastructure and value addition would also be resolved, she said. The unit is designed to provide solutions for excess production of tomatoes during peak seasons, enabling farmers to safely store surplus produce. The processing unit aims also to diversify the range of tomato-based products, thereby reducing potential losses and increasing profitability for farmers.

APFPS will set up the unit and then transfer its ownership, along with the machinery, to the M/s Pathikonda vegetable farmers producer company Ltd while retaining the land ownership. FPO will select an operator for the unit through a competitive bidding process. The unit, with a capacity of 1,200 tonnes per month, will operate 300 days a year with 8-hour shifts. It would create jobs for about 50 persons and produce tomato puree, flakes, ketchup, dry powder for noodles and baking, and ready-to-eat products. The FPO involved has over 1,000 farmer members and works with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).






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