India is the second largest producer of foodgrains in the world and also occupies second place in production of milk, fruits and vegetables, Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has said.
He was speaking after inaugurating the Srini Food Park, the state’s largest food processing zone at Mogili in Bangarupalyam mandal in the district onMonday.
Srini Food Park is one of the ten mega parks sanctioned across the country and the first to be commissioned to make use of the vegetables, fruits, poultry and milk.
“As we are in a position to process only 2 to 3 percent of fruits and vegetables, we took up the task of setting up food processing industries and will set up more such food parks in the future,’’ he said.
He exuded hope that the facility at Mogili would benefit farmers from Andhra Pradesh and also from the neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states.
Speaking on the occasion chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said that the Union government has sanctioned as many as 11 food processing units across the nation with an intention to provide remunerative prices to farm products.
The farmers in the district would be benefited with the food park, he said.
Kiran Reddy said the district farmers can avail the facilities including stocking, processing, marketing and exporting their products with the food park.Emphasising the need for setting up more such food parks in the state, he said there was a need to bring awareness among the farming community about the use of these food parks.
Saying that the state government set up Bulk Milk Chilling Units (BMCU) in the district, the chief minister said the district farmers have been supplying 3 lakh litres of milk a day to these milk chilling units and are getting a remunerative price of Rs 18 to 20 per litre.
‘’With an intention to make use of all the available rain water, we are constructing check dams and water pits for stocking water and have selected six districts including Chittoor for constructing a check dam on pilot basis,’’ the CM said.