“Agro-processing plants are need of the hour for value addition of agricultural produce, generating income and curtailing post-harvest losses at village level” observed Dr M S Alam, Senior Research Engineer-cum-In charge, All India Coordinated Research Project, Department of Processing and Food Engineering, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). He was speaking at the inauguration of agro-processing complex “Dhillon Agro Food Industries” which has come up in the village Botianwalla, tehsil Zira, district Ferozepur with the technical assistance of PAU. The established agro-processing unit, owned by S. Gurtez Singh, includes an automatic wheat flour milling unit, oil expeller with filter press and grinder for spices. About 250 farmers were present at the inaugural function.
Dr Alam further said the establishment of Agro-Processing Complex (APC) at the farm gate will help consumers of the area in getting quality products, reducing post-harvest losses and creating agro-entrepreneurs, thus, improving the economic and social status of farmers. The Department of Processing and Food Engineering, PAU, is imparting regular trainings and providing technical guidance and support to the rural population for the establishment of processing complex, he added. Dr Alam also interacted with the participants and encouraged them to set-up such plants and wished S. Gurtez Singh all success. He appreciated the workmanship of Artesian S. Pritpal Singh (Mintu), trained by the Department.
S. Kulbir Singh Zira, MLA Zira, who was the chief guest, appreciated the efforts of PAU in providing technical guidance to farmers/rural youth in establishment of APC.
Dr Mahesh Kumar, Head of the department, hailed the efforts made by Dr M S Alam and his team in this regard.
S. Mehal Singh, Investigator and Er Harpreet Singh, Junior Research Fellow of the Department of Processing and Food Engineering, also attended the inaugural ceremony. S. Mehal Singh shared his experience with the gathering and motivated them to get training from PAU and establish such complexes in future.