Chittoor tomato picked under ‘one district-one product’ scheme

Tomato farmers in Chittoor district and surrounding areas may hope for better days ahead with the Union government deciding to support the production, processing and marketing of the edible fruit grown in those southern parts of Andhra Pradesh, under the One District-One Product (ODOP) scheme.

Implemented by the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries, the ODOP is intended to help the farmers in grappling with the vagaries of the market, including the extreme price fluctuations, by providing them necessary forward and backward linkages and also to promote processing units on a sustained basis.

Financial support

Under ODOP, tomato, potato and onion have been identified in the country so far as requiring financial and technological support, and tomato is the only crop from Andhra Pradesh to qualify for it.

Speaking to The Hindu, A.P. Food Processing Industries’ Federation president P. Bhaskar Rao said Chittoor had been the leading producer of tomato in the State and had a substantial share in the national market.

But, since it is a perishable commodity and the farmers and also entrepreneurs are struggling to earn minimum returns from it, the Union government has stepped in to alleviate their plight. The ODOP scheme is applicable for processing industries in food parks established by both the Central and the State governments.

Tremendous scope

Like all other agriculture and horticulture crops, only about 5% of tomato is processed, which provides a tremendous scope for venturing into the business of adding value to it.

Food parks

Mr. Rao pointed out that the Andhra Pradesh government was promoting 12 food parks with its own budget in addition to the Central government-sponsored Srini Food Park in Chittoor and Mallavalli Mega Food Park in Krishna district and the one dedicated for aquaculture namely the Godavari Mega Aqua Food Park at Bhimavaram in West Godavari district.

Processing units

In all, 20 to 25 food parks had been sanctioned by the Centre across the country, but the State had taken the task of promoting the processing units upon itself by setting up its own parks in view of the great importance of the rich variety of crops to its economy and the livelihood of lakhs of farmers.

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Printable version | Oct 12, 2021 3:18:34 PM |

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