Defence Food Research Laboratory to offer food processing solutions

The Mysuru-based Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) will provide technolocial support for finding a solution for the abundant tomato and Sweetlime produce in certain seasons in Annantapur district. The Anantapur MP Talari Rangaiah had worked towards getting a Kisan Rail introduced from Anantapur, but did not work out in later December when the tomato prices were very low both here and in Azad Market in Delhi.

Mr. Rangaiah on Wednesday met the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chairman G. Satheesh Reddy to thank him for sending a team of experts from the DFRL to Anantapur for two days during the last week and studying the requirements of the farmers and understanding the horticulture produce profile of the district.

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI) had sanctioned in October last year ₹2.9 crore for subsidising 50% of the transport cost of tomatoes and Sweetlime along with other agriculture produce through Kisan Rail, but concerns were raised over why the money was not being spent on establishing a ‘Tomato’ or ‘Sweetlime’ processing industry in Anantapur district, which could save money for everyone.

A private trust was also established to subsidise train freight for farmers sending their produce through Kisan Rail, but finding a local solution of value-addition was view-point expressed by many, which prompted the Anantapur MP to get help in this form.

During their two-day interaction with the district horticulture officers, the DFRL team was asked to provide executable detailed project reports for establishing a 1,000-tonne or 5,000-tonne capacity processing unit for Groundnut, Sweet Lime and tomatoes at Kadiri, Kalyandurg and Anantapur regions, Deputy Director Horticulture K. Padmalatha told The Hindu.

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