Agro based Industries in Karnataka
The agro based industries in the State are spread across all the 30 districts. Currently, there are about 54,905 agro processing units with an investment of Rs.4,42,879 Lakhs have employed 3,24,148 manpower. These are mainly in MSME sector. The State is home to big players such as ITC, Nestle, Gujarat Ambuja, Brittania, Parle, Cargill India etc., in the agribusiness and food processing sector.
Overview of the Agribusiness and Food Processing
A well-developed Agribusiness and Food Processing sector with higher level of processing and value addition helps in the reduction of wastage, promotes crop diversification, ensures better return to the farmers, promotes employment as well as increases export earnings. This sector is also capable of addressing critical issues of food security, food inflation and providing wholesome and nutritious food to the masses.
Karnataka State falls in Zone X (Southern Plateau and Hilly region) and Zone XII (West Coast Plains and Ghat region) as per the Agro-Climatic Regional Planning of Planning Commission. The State is divided into 10 Agro Climatic zones and has six major soil types. On account of this varied agro-climatic features almost all cereals, pulses, oilseeds and commercial crops (fruits, vegetables, spices etc) are cultivated in different parts of the State. Farmers in Karnataka are very innovative and take lead in diversification as per the market trends.
Karnataka with its diversified agro climatic conditions is home for the production of variety of agriculture crops such as Sunflower, Maize, Tur, Jowar, Sugarcane, Bengalgram, Soyabean, Groundnut, Greengram, Blackgram, Safflower, Paddy, Cotton etc. The State also grows variety of small and minor millets such as Foxtail Millet (Navane), Little Millet (Sawe), Finger Millet (Ragi), Bajra (Sajje), Haraka etc.
The State is one of the major producers of variety of horticulture crops. Fruits such as Sapota, Grapes, Pomegranate, Watermelon, Mango, Jackfruit, Papaya, Lime/ Lemon, Orange, Banana, Guava etc Vegetables such as Onion (including Bengaluru Rose Onion), Potatoes, Gherkins, Capsicum, Green Chilly, Tomato, Cucumber, Carrot, Beans etc Plantation & Spice Crops such as Coffee, Arecanut, Tamarind, Coconut, Vanilla, Black Pepper, Cloves, Cardamom, Dry Chilly, Turmeric, Cashewnut, Ginger, Garlic etc Flowers such as Rose, Jasmine, Gerbera, Carnation, Anthurium, Orchids, Lillies, Chrysanthemum, Tuberose, Crossandra, Aster, Marigold etc., are grown in the State.
Horticulture production area in the State accounts for about 16% of the total cultivable area. It includes plantation crops (45%), vegetables (23%), fruits (20%), spices (10%) and other commercial crops like flowers, medicinal and aromatic plants (2%).
In Karnataka, only about 1% of the total production of fruits and vegetables is currently being processed for value addition. About 25 – 30% of post harvest loss is estimated due to inadequate cold storage, required transport, poor handling, insufficient processing and other value addition facilities. At present there are only 98 cold storage units having 2.97 Lakh MT for handling fruits and vegetables. Of these units, 2 are in co-operative, 90 are in private and 6 are in public sector. Therefore, ample scope is available for investing to strengthen the cold storage and transportation facilities.
Karnataka state has 320 KM of coast line along with 27000 square KM of continental shelf area, 5.65 Lakh hectares of various inland water resources and has vast scope for fisheries development. The brackish water area of 8000 hectares also provides good scope for shrimp/fish culture. Karnataka is one of the first states to facilitate the introduction of mechanised fishing boats leading to organized fishing in the sea. There are about 3780 mechanised fishing boats, 6978 motorized boats and 8119 traditional fishing boats operating along the coast. In the recent years, bigger mechanized fishing boats having more than 20 M length with all communication and safety equipments are being operated in deeper waters, bringing in more fish catch.
Human Resource and Skill Development
Human Resource and Skill Development is crucial for providing support to Agribusiness and Food Processing Industry. The Agro and Food Industry needs highly skilled manpower at both the workmen and supervisory levels, familiar with special requirements of the industry such as good hygiene practices, quality standards etc. This is particularly important for MSME sector, which do not have the capacity to provide in-house training. Accordingly, the state encourages by providing subsidy for technology business incubation centres for MSME sector.
With a view to increase the quality of horticulture produces by adopting new innovations and technologies, the Government of Karnataka has established a State-of the-Art Biotechnology Centre at Hulimavu, Bengaluru in an area of about 42.08 acres of land. The main objective of this centre is to guide farmers using new upcoming research and to provide better and high yielding and disease resistant planting materials. This centre is the first of its kind in the country under public sector aiming at integrating many spheres of biotechnology for the cause of horticultural development exclusively. The State is also encouraging the private sector participation in this area with necessary support and encouragement.
Research & Development Strength of Karnataka
The State is known for the location of some of the renowned institutions like Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore & Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), Mysore, who are engaged in the Research & Development of food science, transfer of food technology for value addition of agriculture and horticulture produce. National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Bengaluru is engaged in the Research & Development in the field of Dairy Science. Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR), Bengaluru is engaged in the Research & Development of new varieties, value addition, post harvest management in the field of fruits, vegetables and other horticulture crops.
In order to support the training and skill requirement of agribusiness & food processing industry, the state has 4 Agricultural Universities, 1 Horticulture University and an exclusive University for Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences. In addition to this, the Department of Agriculture has 23 District Agriculture Training Centres (DATCs) and the Department of Horticulture has 10 Training Centres across the State to impart training and skill development to farmers and other stakeholders in the field of enhancing production, improving productivity and quality of agriculture, horticulture and allied produces.
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