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FRUITS & VEGETABLE

Jharkhand CM inaugurates Mother Dairy’s F&V processing plant in Ranchi
Wednesday, 08 March, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das inaugurated Mother Dairy’s first-of-its kind fruit and vegetable processing facility in Ranchi’s Nagdi Block recently. The hi-tech facility is being set up by Safal, Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Pvt Ltd’s (MDFVPL) flagship fruit and vegetable brand. Dilip Rath, chairman, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), and officials of MDFVPL were present at the inauguration.

The green field plant is being set-up with subsidy support from the government of the eastern state as per the Jharkhand industrial policy, with an estimated cost of Rs 82.77 crore.

The land for the aforesaid project was allotted to Mother Dairy through a state order of the government of Jharkhand. The new individual quick freezing (IQF) processing line was built in a record time of ten months, and is currently under trials for green peas and jackfruit processing.

The plant, envisaged with two phases, has completed the first phase of its IQF freezing line in a record time of 10 months, and has been running trails with a capacity of 5,650 metric tons (MT) per annum, while the second phase of its aseptic pulping line, with a capacity of 17,700MT per annum, is expected to be ready by December 2017.

Upon the completion of the second phase, this facility will be a first-of-its-kind hi-tech integrated automated factory in eastern India with IQF freezing and aseptic pulping lines under one roof.

The annual raw material requirement of the factory in the steady state of operations will be to the tune of 75,000MT per annum.

Rath said, “NDDB is supporting Jharkhand in managing the State Cooperative Federation - which has resulted in milk procurement, increasing from about six TKGPD in 2012-13 to about 84 TKGPD in 2016-17 (between April and January), directly benefiting about 12,800 milk producers till date, with about Rs 6.25 crore being transferred to the producers every month.”

“Recognising the untapped potential of Jharkhand, NDDB’s wholly-owned subsidiary MDFVPL decided to set up an integrated plant for producing 10MT per hour of pulp/paste and two MT per hour of frozen fruit and vegetables at a total investment outlay of about Rs 82.77 crore,” he added.

“The pulp plant plans to increase its volume to about 17,700MTPA by the fifth year and would handle fruits and vegetables like mango, guava, litchi, pineapple, amla, papaya and tomato,” Rath stated.

“Similarly, the frozen plant plans to increase its volume to about 5,650MTPA, and would handle fruits and vegetables like green peas, corn, beans, cauliflower, carrot, ginger, jackfruit and pineapple,” he added.

Rath stated, “This initiative is expected to not only provide market access to producers of fruits and vegetables, but also help add value in the form of processing and extension of shelf life.”

“Producers would also be supported in increasing yields through improved varieties and efficient cultivation practices,” he added.

“Even producers not directly linked to the project are likely to benefit from higher prices through greater competition for their produce. Improved technology in cultivation introduced in the project area is also likely to spread to other areas in the state,” Rath stated.

He added, “As the project scales up, there would be increased livelihoods and employment opportunities arising directly and indirectly from the project, which along with the initiative taken in the dairy sector supported by NDDB, would help in bringing about rural prosperity in Jharkhand.”

On behalf of NDDB and MDFVPL, he thanked Das and the state administration for providing all-out support and cooperation to enable NDDB to complete this project in record time.

S Nagarajan, managing director, MDFVPL, said, “With rich agronomic conditions and variety of horticulture crops, Jharkhand as a state has the potential to evolve as a hub for fruit and vegetable processing.”

“The state has been a rich source of quality produce for crops like peas, tomato, cabbage, jackfruit, etc., where we foresee a huge potential to add value, benefiting both farmers and consumers,” he added.

“Through this initiative, we aim to create a meaningful impact to the lives of large number of small and marginal farmers from the state, offering them right remuneration for their produce and providing them direct linkages to the urban markets,” Nagarajan stated.

The state currently ranks significantly well in the production of several key fruits and vegetables. It is second in peas, sixth in tomato, cabbage and okra and fourth in litchi production.

Additionally, farmers in the state are known to be using less pesticides as compared to those in others, as the soil is fertile and has a high capacity of fixation of humus, thereby giving the crop a superior taste and quality profile.

Pradipta Kumar Sahoo, business head, Safal, said, “For our newly-built facility, the bulk of the raw material will be directly sourced from the farmers of the state.”

“This economic activity will enhance the farm incomes of a large number of small and marginal farmers with complete transparency and efficiency of the payment system,” he added.

“It will also help in mitigating the farmers’ predicament of coming to mandis and reducing middlemen’s interference in the value chain,” Sahoo stated.
 
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