Govt urged to form special cell for agro-processing industry

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Kochi, Sep 30 (UNI) Kerala State Agriculture Production Commissioner K Jayakumar today said the state government should form a special cell or task force to give an impetus to the agro-processing industry in the state.

Speaking at an interactive session, organised by the local chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here, Mr Jayakumar said ''a separate cell, organisation or task force was needed to develop the agro-processing industry in the state to draw parallels with the Centre, which had an exclusive ministry in this field.'' He said emphasis should be given to create a direct linkage with the farmers or producers so that the value-addition for the entrepreneurs would mean value-sharing for the growers.

''The government should embark on a campaign, in which the farmers should be convinced that the agro-processing was a pro-farmer activity and they would benefit from it,'' he noted.

Reiterating the importance of agro-processing in the state, Mr Jayakumar said in the next decade, the agro-processing should be a focal area of activity and the government should set up an empowered group to work out the modalities for developing the industry.

He said agriculture was becoming non-lucrative for the farmers because of a multitude of reasons, including pressure on land, transition from multi-cropping to mono-crop cultivation and small holdings.

Mr Jayakumar also stressed that the state holds great potential for high value farming, which would benefit the farmers.

UNI MA DS MIR AS1845

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