Lucknow: The efforts being made by the state government to increase the processing capacity of fruits and vegetables are now pleasing to the farmers and small traders as well. Awareness regarding the processing of fruits and vegetables has increased in every major village of the state. Small businesses are showing interest in setting up food processing units in rural areas under the Micro Food Industry Upgradation Scheme. The government is encouraging these small businessmen by giving them a 35 percent loan subsidy for setting up food processing units costing up to Rs 10 lakh. The result of this effort of the government is that now all the proposals have been received by the Horticulture Department to modernize small industries in the villages and increase the capacity of food processing. These proposals will be approved soon. The government has set a target of promoting 9301 micro food processing enterprises in this financial year. About 20 thousand people will get employment in these enterprises. And thousands of farmers will get the fair price of their produce in the mill village itself, they will benefit.
Significantly, Uttar Pradesh is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the country. Yet less than 10 percent of the fruits and vegetables produced in the state were processed. Large quantities of perishable food items were wasted every year. Due to which the farmers could not get a fair price for their crops. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took cognizance of this. This is the reason that immediately after taking over the power of the state, he took many decisions to overcome the problems of the farmers. After waving off the loans of the farmers, the Chief Minister implemented the system of providing the farmers the price of the purchase of sugarcane, paddy and wheat and along with it prepared the Food Processing Policy 2017 to encourage investment in the field of food processing. In this policy, several concessions were announced to the entrepreneur setting up a food processing unit. Impressed by this policy of the state government, since the year 2018 till now, 803 applications worth Rs 4109.74 crore were received from entrepreneurs. These applications included 81 for fruit-vegetable processing, 232 for consumer products, 397 for food milling, 03 for herbal processing, 35 for milk processing, 27 for oilseeds processing, 15 for pulses processing, 08 for meat processing, 10 for referrer vans, There is a proposal of Mega Food Park and Agro-Processing. For these industries, land has been provided to the entrepreneurs from the government level and production has also started in many units.
Apart from this, big industrialists have also taken the initiative to set up their units in the state, influenced by the policies of the state government. In the last four years, these industrialists submitted proposals to the government to set up 139 food processing units (factories) in the state at a cost of Rs 9105.58 crore, out of which 101 food processing factories have started production. 4074.02 crore has been spent on setting up of these 101 food processing factories and 20,176 people have got employment in these food processing factories. While the work of construction of 38 food processing factories is going on. 21,111 people will get employment in these factories. According to officials, SLMG Beverages Pvt Ltd has started production by investing Rs 300 crore in Lucknow, BL Agro Rs 160 crore in Bareilly and Rs 150 crore in Khattar Edibles Pvt Ltd Rampur. Production is also taking place at Organic India Pvt Ltd’s plant in Barabanki, set up at a cost of Rs 55 crore. Similarly, Patanjali Ayurved Limited is investing Rs 2,118 crore in Gautam Budh Nagar, PepsiCo is investing Rs 514 crore in Mathura, Haldiram Snacks Pvt Ltd is investing Rs 490 crore in Gautam Budh Nagar. In addition, 38 food processing factories are under construction, which are expected to start production by the end of this year. An investment of Rs 5031.31 crore is being made on the construction of these 38 food processing factories.
Along with this, now small businessmen are also taking the initiative to set up their units for the food processing business at the level of villages and towns as well. The Central Government’s Prime Minister Micro Food Industries Upgradation Scheme is giving courage to these small businessmen to set up their food processing units at the village level. Through this scheme, farmers, cottage industries, farmer organizations and others are getting an opportunity to progress. The objective of the said scheme is to increase the processing capacity at the village level and double the income of farmers. Under which the government is making farm-to-market linkages to provide capital to small and medium industries and to promote them. Under this scheme, projects run by women and small entrepreneurs will be promoted. It is being ensured that new entrepreneurs get easy loans. The state government is of the opinion that this scheme will also help in increasing the food processing capacity in rural areas, upgrading technology and bringing new range of food products. With this thinking, the state government has set a target of providing employment to the people through 37,826 micro food processing units in the next five years. In this financial year, 9301 micro food food processing enterprises will be promoted in this financial year.