VIJAYAWADA: The AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation (APCCIF) has sought setting up of a separate financial institution to meet the credit needs of the food processing sector.
The APCCIF’s sub-committee on Food Processing which met on Tuesday discussed the requirements of the food processing industry and the the kind of support it needs from the government. It wanted the State to take a pro-active role in creating a financial institution on the lines of Mudra and National Housing Bank.
Speaking to media persons, sub-committee chairman and APCCIF executive director Potluri Bhaskara Rao said, “A `1 crore investment into an engineering industry would create hardly one or two jobs but similar investment in food procesing sector could get up to 25 to 30 jobs, as well as indirect jobs.”
Bhaskrara Rao said he had no doubt that the State would emerge as No. 1 in food processing industry provided the centre and the state came to support the sector since the state is a leader in production of fruits and vegetables. “At present there are not enough food processing units in the state. As a result only 60 per cent of the fruits and other perishables are actually reaching the consumers. If there are processing units, fruits could be rushed to them in a matter of 24 hours,” he said.
He said that if the food processing units come up in AP, it would act as a fillip to the horticulture sector. “Farmers in Krishna district are going in for guava orchards after a guava processing unit has come up.
Similarly, in Chittoor farmer have gone in for mango plantations in an additional area of 50,000 acres only because of the setting up of food processing units there,” Bhaskara Rao added.
The APCCIF also wanted the sector to be insulated from vagaries in the power tariff at least for a minimum period of five years and set up banana and mango boards on the lines of coconut and rubber boards.
Bhaskara Rao said that cargo facility with reefer containers at airports is to be provided for domestic and international exports.