The ‘One District One Product’ initiative under Atmanirbhar Bharat is yet to take off in Mysuru and Mandya districts which had been identified for the promotion of banana and jaggery respectively, with none of the shortlisted beneficiaries uploading their applications for getting the one-time loan-linked subsidy.
The initiative aims to support micro food processing enterprises. A maximum of ₹10 lakh subsidy is available. So far no eligible person from Mysuru and Mandya has taken the subsidy since they were engaged in the process of fulfilling many procedures, especially arranging documents as per the checklist.
In Mysuru, about five entrepreneurs have come forward to develop products from bananas which are grown in about 12,500 hectares in the district.
“One of the entrepreneurs wants to extract juice and powder from banana shoots and another wants to produce banana bars. Their ideas appear promising. The Mysuru-based CSIR-CFTRI has given training to nearly 10 entrepreneurs who had evinced interest in the scheme,” said Joint Director of Agriculture Mahanteshappa.
He told The Hindu : “Our aim is to encourage setting up of 30 banana processing units under the scheme in Mysuru and the department is hoping more entrepreneurs take the subsidy utilisng technical support from institutes such as CFTRI.”
The beneficiaries from most districts identified under ‘One District One Product’ are undergoing six-day training at the CFTRI in different sessions.
Two resource persons had been appointed in Mysuru to help process the entrepreneurs’ applications besides processing their loans and subsidy coordinating with the respective bank.
There is a better response to the scheme in Mandya when compared to Mysuru. More than 35 individuals, prominently jaggery manufacturers, have come forward for the scheme.
“There is scope for opening new jaggery units, adopting new technologies for the manufacture of hygienic and chemical-free jaggery. The stress is on producing organic jaggery and the persons running the unit can take the subsidy to modernise their operations. Jaggery powder making, other jaggery products can also be explored,” said Mandya Joint Director of Agriculture Chandrashekar.
Mandya has around 591 “alemanes” in the sugarcane producing areas. Sources in the Agriculture Department said Mandya has the highest number of jaggery units in the State. Sugarcane is cultivated in 42,500 hectares and nearly 45 lakh tonnes of sugarcane is produced annually.
Each jaggery unit can expect a subsidy ranging from ₹5 lakh to ₹10 lakh. Plans are also afoot to raise a sum of ₹25 crore to ₹30 crore towards rejuvenating the units.
The focus is on organic jaggery production for helping farmers improve their income besides increasing the chances of their product chosen for exports.
Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambaareesh had sought brand building and promotion of organic jaggery produced in Mandya, and suggested production of export quality jaggery for expanding the market share.
Sources said nearly 6 to 7 lakh tonnes of sugarcane produced in Mandya goes for jaggery making. Around one quintal of jaggery is produced crushing one tonne of sugarcane.