Hyderabad: The State government is all set to come up with one of the best food processing and logistics policies in the country soon to promote the food processing sector in the State. A group of Ministers led by IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao that examined the policies and incentives offered by other States and countries, proposed major changes in the draft policies to offer incentives and subsidies to attract investments in the food processing sector.
In a marathon eight-hour meeting at Pragathi Bhavan on Wednesday, Rama Rao emphasised the need to extensively promote food processing industry to succeed in the twin objectives of economic empowerment of farmers and employment opportunities for youth in the State. He stated that special incentives would be offered to SC, ST, minorities and women who establish their own food processing units in the State. “There are abundant investment opportunities in the food processing sector as the State has been registering highest crop yield consistently. These policies will help us attract investments, increase employment opportunities and boost the rural economy,” he said.
Giving a presentation to the Ministers on the proposed food processing and logistics policies, the Minister sought inputs from his Cabinet colleagues and said their suggestions would be taken into consideration while drafting the guidelines. He pointed out that the completion of irrigation projects and other proactive measures initiated by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had helped in increasing irrigation facilities in the State, which in turn boosted agriculture activities.
Rama Rao said that due to the implementation of sheep and fish seedlings distribution schemes, there had been a significant increase in the number of sheep and production of fish. He said the State was experiencing a water revolution and was in the process of witnessing another Green Revolution (agriculture), followed by Blue Revolution (fisheries), Pink Revolution (meat production), and White Revolution (milk).
The Minister highlighted the fact that crops being cultivated in every village, mandal, and district, were being mapped across the State for comprehensive information on agriculture operations. He also stated that the construction of new irrigation projects had subsequently increased the cultivation area in the State. “The production of crops, especially paddy, cotton, maize, pulses and spices, has increased significantly after implemention of pro-agriculture measures of the State government,” he added.
During the discussion, the Ministers suggested promotion of food processing industries based on changing crop patterns. They observed that employment opportunities could be increased in rural areas by setting up poultry, meat production and fish processing units. In the wake of shortage of skilled manpower, they suggested promotion of mechanisation in the processing units. They also proposed providing additional incentives to set up small food processing units in tribal areas, besides encouraging Dalits and women entrepreneurs to grab such opportunities.
Further, the Ministers emphasised the need to promote quality processed products with the Telangana Brand and maintain export quality standards to prevent food adulteration. It was also decided to encourage establishment of modern oil mills and also fruits and vegetable food processing units to ensure remunerative prices to farmers for their crops.
Ministers T Harish Rao, S Niranjan Reddy, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Eatala Rajender, V Srinivas Goud, Mohammad Mahmood Ali, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Koppula Eeshwar, P Sabitha Indra Reddy, Satyavathi Rathod, V Prashanth Reddy, Gangula Kamalakar, Puvvada Ajay, G Jagadish Reddy, A Indrakaran Reddy, Telangana State Planning Board vice-chairman B Vinod Kumar, Government Chief Advisor Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Principal Secretaries, and senior officials, participated in the meeting.
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