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Food Processing:

Food processing involves any type of value addition to the agricultural produce starting at the post-harvest level. It includes even primary processing like grading, sorting, cutting, seeding, shelling, packaging, etc.

Food Processing Industry is of enormous significance for development and employment generation because of the vital linkages and synergies that it promotes between the two pillars of the economy, namely Industry and Agriculture.

Need for Food Processing Policy in Telangana:

Telangana has an estimated 3,850 food processing plants (MOFPI, 2017). Telangana is the highest producer of Sweet Orange in the country. It is the second highest producer of Turmeric and Chillies, fourth highest producer of Lemon, Grapes, Mango and fifth largest producer of Pomegranate in the country. The state has good production capabilities for poultry, food grains (cereals and pulses) and also has scope for potential growth in inland fisheries which makes it an ideal location choice for food processing industries. In light of this, the need for developing a food processing policy for the state becomes imperative. The Policy will seek to create an appropriate environment for entrepreneurs to set up Food Processing Industries through fiscal initiatives/interventions like rationalization of tax structure on fresh foods as well as processed foods and machinery used for the production of processed foods.

The Policy will also facilitate in establishment of cold chain, low cost pre-cooling facilities near farms, cold stores and grading, sorting, packing facilities to reduce wastage, improve quality and shelf life of products.

The Policy will promote both backward and forward linkages with establishment of a sustained and lasting linkage between the farmers and the processors based on mutual trust and benefits by utilizing the existing infrastructure of cooperative, village panchayats and such other institutions. It will help mechanism to reduce the gap between the farm gate price of agro-produce and the final price paid by the consumer.

The policy will promote establishment of a strong linkage between the processor and the market to affect cost economies by elimination of avoidable intermediaries, establishment of marketing network with an apex body to ensure proper marketing of processed products and development of marketing capabilities both with regard to infrastructure and quality in order to promote export competitive capabilities.

Centre for Good Governance to formulate draft policy:

Mr.Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce of Telangana has assigned Centre for Good Governance to map available resources, existing clusters and potential clusters in food processing will helps to formulate a draft policy for food processing for the Telangana state. A study based on secondary data and primary field data will conducted under the guidance of Mr.Devi Prasdad Juvvadi, Director, Agriculture Management at CGG to submit the draft policy by August 2017.