Rs 879 cr food processing project to double farmer income in J&K
Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Srinagar, Jan 24: The J&K government has launched Rs 879 crores project titled “UT Level Food Processing Program for Development of Clusters for Specific Products” that aims to maximize farmer income and minimize post-harvest losses.
Officials informed that the project will focus on developing 17 districts in J&K by establishing processing and marketing infrastructure, providing growth and development opportunities to stakeholders.
“The project will focus on seven products in 17 districts/clusters including milk for Jammu and Pulwama, walnut for Kupwara and Kishtwar, Basmati for RS Pura, Samba and Kathua, Vegetables (conventional/organic/exotic and mushrooms) for Doda, Budgam, Samba and Udhampur, meat and poultry for Srinagar and Kathua, trout for Anantnag and Ganderbal and cherry for Ganderbal and Baramulla,” the official said.
Financial Commissioner Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo said the project shall create 7030 direct jobs and lead to establishment of 34 enterprises with expected revenue generation to the tune of Rs 1436.04 crores every year.
“This comprehensive project is designed to increase the competitiveness of seven identified products across categories in terms of cost, quality, branding, and sustainability within five years. The government is investing in value-addition, logistics, marketing, and branding of various Agriculture, Horticulture and livestock products to achieve this goal,” Dulloo said.
He said the project represents hope for farmers in J&K, who have been facing challenges such as post-harvest losses that are generally in the range of 15-20 percent and the wastage of 20 percent of the total fruit produced due to non-availability of packaging and processing facilities and mismatch between production and post-harvest management.
Dulloo said the investment is expected to address these issues and help farmers to better price realization and enhance their income by creating competitiveness across the entire value chain.
“In the next five years, J&K will have a dynamic food processing, food packaging and storage infrastructure with dedicated support services including farm-level logistics and transportation, marketing infrastructure and cluster branding. This project is a step towards a brighter future for the farmers and the food-processing sector in J&K,” he said.