All is set for the formal launch of the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology-sponsored Common Facilitation Incubation Centre on Thursday.
Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal will dedicate the facility to the nation through video conferencing from New Delhi.
The latest facility established at Chettikulam in Perambalur district will mainly benefit the weather-beaten shallot growers of the region and help them overcome the vicissitudes of pricing fortunes, especially in times of glut in the market when the prices hit rock bottom.
The IIFPT’s Mission Onion Programme will immensely benefit the region’s shallot farmers, who raise the agricultural produce in over 8,000 hectares to produce 65,000 to 70,000 tonnes a year.
Stakeholders there have been complaining of post-harvest losses and sought technological solutions to minimise waste, IIFPT Director C. Anandharamakrishnan told the media here on Tuesday.
The Perambalur District Maize and Small Onion Farmer Producer Company is being involved in the process.
Besides, the State Government, through the district administration, and the Department of Agriculture’s Agri Business Marketing have contributed to the project in a big way, he added.
The IIFPT has developed three equipment — shallot stem and root cutter, shallot peeler and solar-assisted curing-cum-storage unit for shallots — specifically for the facility that has been readied at a cost of ₹1 crore.
At least four value added products — onion powder, onion paste, vacuum packed onions and dehydrated onion flakes — can be produced on a large scale as part of the food processing industry that is seen as the sunrise industry with a lot of potential for entrepreneurs, Dr. Anandharamakrishnan said.
Value addition for shallots means reduction of storage losses, extension of shelf life, ease of handling, wider market coverage and more jobs to make good Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of doubling the farmers revenue in as soon a time as possible, the IIFPT Director underlined.
Only towards this end, all reach activities are being fine tuned under the direction of Ms. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, he said.