Also, to facilitate exports of perishable commodities, the ministry and the Airports Authority of India are setting up cold chains and infrastructure in major aviation hubs across the country, said Reema Prakash, joint secretary, ministry of food processing industries.
Most of these facilities are for perishable commodities like fish, fruits and vegetables. Issues such as separate queues for perishable products in cargo and scanners for air containers were also being addressed.
“The government has focussed on niche agro products in states under ‘one district one product’ program. We now have a targeted approach towards investor facilitation where we set up a meeting with particular cluster farmers, farmer producers organisation and cooperatives to understand their issues with an aim to connect with processors domestically and globally,” she said.
Projects for development of processing of trout and salmon in Jammu and Kashmir, litchi in Bihar, guava in Madhya Pradesh and pineapple in the Northeast are in the pipeline, said officials.
Similar projects have been done in north eastern states such as Sikkim and Assam, where ministry officials said that they have seen tremendous success. Food processing infrastructure is being built through state and central government schemes.
“One of the best examples is the development of an agro processing cluster in Ladakh, which was proposed by the ministry after wide consultations with stakeholders on the ground,” Prakash said.
Further, to push exports of perishable commodities, the government is in talks with companies to identify requirements and build infrastructure.
“In the past few months, we have conducted various meetings with APEDA, Airports Authority of India, airports officials of Kolkata, Mumbai, Cochin, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, and exporters of perishable commodities to understand the existing infrastructure at the mentioned airports and identify the gaps,” said Prakash.
Most of the initiatives are under the project development cell of the food processing industries ministry, which has been constituted with the prime objective of accelerating investments.