A trade body to promote an integrated approach towards agro food-processing sector and achieve coordination among all stakeholders “from the farm to fork” will be inaugurated here on Friday.
Christened Agro Food Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the body will be open to farmers, industrialists, consumers, food processors and all other stake holders. It will be inaugurated by the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers M.K. Alagiri.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, S. Rethinavelu, who will be the first president of the newly-formed body, said agriculture sector must be made remunerative to attract youngsters and ensure food security in the future.
He said that the Government must undertake initiatives to promote natural farming, teach agro-nomics to farmers and provide them with continuous marketing support. The Government should announce a stimulus package for the agro food-processing industry besides educating the public. “Export opportunities are bright for natural farming products. The Chamber will work to bring small players together to form a ‘common brand’ to help them market their produce effectively,” he said.
Post-harvesting problems such as wastage needed to be addressed by establishing cold storages across the country besides paying special attention to logistical difficulties. The Chamber would be meeting the Prime Minster to bring to his notice the difficulties of agro food-processing industries, Mr. Rethinavelu said.
Members of this newly-formed Chamber, whose annual membership fee would be Rs. 300, would also have access to the state-of-the-art infrastructure at Foodgrains Marketing Yard in Madurai district, he said. This body would conduct field studies to ascertain the various difficulties faced by stakeholders besides coming out with innovative solutions to their problems, he said.