Hyderabad: The woes of Medchal-Malkajgiri district farmers in storing and processing vegetables, fruits and other farm products are set to be resolved with the establishment of a fruits and vegetables processing unit. The district, despite being home to a variety of fruits and vegetables, lacked a facility for processing excess produce to extend the shelf life for few more days and increase the profitability of the farmers.
To resolve the problems of farmers, Malkjgiri Parliamentary TRS party in-charge Marri Rajasekhar Reddy came up with the idea of establishing fruits and vegetable processing unit. Along with the support of Telangana State Planning Board vice-chairman B Vinod Kumar and Ministers Ch Malla Reddy and Niranjan Reddy, he was successful in securing the funding required for the project.
At an estimated budget of Rs 4.70 crore, the fruits and vegetable processing unit will come up in Poodur village in the Medchal-Malkajgiri district. The project is expected to be completed by October and will be run by the Poodur Adarsha Farmers’ Cooperative Society. Rajashekar Reddy said this is the first in Telangana that a farmer-driven cooperative unit is being established for the fruit and vegetable processing unit.
With this unit, farmers can sell their best grade vegetable at a higher price and normal grade to commercial uses and earn more money. This project will also prevent post-harvest wastage and also increases the shelf life of the product thereby giving extra income to farmers.
Adarsha Farmers’ Cooperative Society, chairman, N Sudhakar Reddy said interventions like vegetable and fruit washing, grading, packing, cutting, freezing, drying, pickle making, pulp extraction, juice extraction and storage will help them to market their produce directly to the end consumer through retail counters, supermarkets and home delivery which otherwise wouldn’t be possible.
“Most farmers in the district produce a variety of vegetables, paddy and corn. The vegetables grown are usually taken to the Rythu Bazars within the district. The new processing unit will help farmers sell their produce directly to the customers thereby increasing the income. The Agricultural Marketing Department will be setting up the unit,” Sudhakar Reddy said.
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