India: Indian government announces plan to stabilize prices of potatoes, onions and tomatoes
Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal last Tuesday said the Indian federal government was planning to draw a sustainable roadmap to keep soaring prices of staples tomato, onion and potato under control.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries:
"Under ’Operation Greens’, we shall be creating a sustainable road map to ensure that tomato onion potato (TOP) are available in every nook and corner of the country round the year without any price volatility."
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the vegetables growers were among his government’s priority and Rs 500 crore (about 80 million USD) has been allocated for Operation Greens, which aims at doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
Badal also said the government had plans to compress the supply chains and create appropriate climate infrastructure for natural preservation of these commodities, besides promoting Farmers Producers Organizations, Agri Logistics Processing facilities and professional management.
The Minister said establishment of Specialised Agro Processing Financial Institutions as announced in the Union Budget would unlock finance for setting up food processing industries.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal:
"These institutions would help overcome the deterrents faced while installing food processing projects that are capital intensive and have long gestation period, by ensuring timely, accessible and affordable credit to this sector."
She said the thrust was given in the Budget for promoting agri-clusters and mega food parks "to strengthen farmers".
Badal also said about $4 billion of the intended investment of $14 billion - pledged MoUs during World Food India event held last year - had translated into the actual investment.
In India, the Food processing sector constitutes around eight per cent and 10 per cent of Gross Value Added (GVA) in manufacturing and agriculture sector in 2015-16, the minister said.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal:
"Value of processed food export has increased to $13.9 billion on 2016-17 which constitutes 11.2 per cent of India’s total export."
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