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January 7, 2015

Bengal leads in Food Processing and Horticulture sector

Bengal leads in Food Processing and Horticulture sector

Food Processing and Horticulture sectors in West Bengal saw a huge surge after the new Government took initiatives three years ago. Right from making new Laws to guiding farmers, creating new processing plants, the Government has taken steps in almost every level for better facilities and improvement of quality and quantity of products.

Food processing industry accounts for almost 32% of the total food market, and ranks 5th in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth. Food processing industry contributes at around 9-10% of the GDP, nationally.

Horticulture also holds great scope for expansion in India and in Bengal. In terms of output, India is the number two in the world. West Bengal Government has given huge importance in these fields which not only has increased production but also created employment.

Initiatives undertaken by the West Bengal Government in these sectors in the last three years:

•    During the tenure of the present government, more than 15,000 hectares are brought under fruit cultivation. The area brought under vegetable cultivation and flower cultivation stands at 1609 and 3631 respectively.

•    Weather based crop insurance has been rolled out with 50% government grant. 15 products are been brought under this scheme.

•    Nearly 40 food processing plants have been set up in the last three years with a cost of more than 300 crore.

•    The production capacity of rice mills have been enhanced by almost 4 lakh MT and for grain mills by almost 2.5 lakh MT. As a result additional capacity 8 lakh man-days of work is made possible.

•    The government has passed West Bengal Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill 2014. Companies involved with food processing can now directly purchase the raw materials from the farmers thus ensuring no cost for middlemen, greater transparency, and greater ease of doing business, and a better price for farmers.

•    The state intends to set up Krishak Bazars , where farmers can sell the products directly this ensuring better prices.

•    A hi-tech food preservation institute is being set up at Malda.

•    The government has taken steps to curb down the menace of middleman and results are visible. Farmers are getting better prices in the whole sale market, while inflation in the retail market is checked through fair price shops, regular checks and etc.


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