Andhra Pradesh

‘Salt industry in State needs a push’

Uttarandhra Adhyana Vedika convener Srinubabu Gedela interacting with salt farmers of Naupada in Srikakulam district.

Uttarandhra Adhyana Vedika convener Srinubabu Gedela interacting with salt farmers of Naupada in Srikakulam district.  

‘Government should come up with an exclusive policy’

Andhra Pradesh, the second longest mainland coastline with 974 km in India after Gujarat, has the potential to produce 50 lakh tonnes of salt per year as against the present 50,000 tonnes if the government formulates an exclusive salt industry policy, according to a detailed study conducted by Uttarandhra Adhyana Vedika and PULSUS Group.

Both organisations feel that if the resources are fully exploited to produce salt to the maximum level, the industry would turn into a goldmine for the State and create job opportunities for lakhs of people.

Immediately, 50,000 persons can be provided livelihood besides spurring economic activity all along the coastal areas, particularly in the North Andhra region which comprises Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam.

Market price

Currently, the value of salt per kilo is 50 paise at farmer’s site but it is sold at ₹25 in the market after processing and branding. The rate will come down drastically if more number of salt processing units are established in coastal belt. “Each processing unit needs an initial investment of only ₹25 lakh. The government can encourage unemployed youth to establish the units by providing them subsidy and other financial incentives. The units will provide employment to many people and prevent their migration to cities,” says Srinubabu Gedela, chief executive officer of PULSUS Group and convener of Uttarandhra Adhyna Vedika, an organisation established to study North Andhra issues.

The team of the vedika visited Naupada of Srikakulam district recently and observed that there were ample opportunities for exporting fine variety salt to other countries.

Currently, China is the market leader with 22% of salt production.

Annually, it produces 620 lakh metric tonnes, followed by United States with 400 lakh metric tonnes. India is in third position with 8.5% share in the world with the production of 250 lakh metric tonnes.

State share

As far as India is concerned, Gujarat tops with 78% production, followed by Tamil Nadu with 11%. In spite of having long coastline, Andhra Pradesh’s share in salt production is only 1%. Naupada, Bhavanpadu, Mulapadu of Srikakulam district, Konada of Vizianagaram district, Kakinada of East Godavari district, Krishnapatnam of Nellore district could be converted into major salt industrial hubs in Andhra Pradesh.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 9:40:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/salt-industry-in-state-needs-a-push/article26164417.ece

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