Solan, January 20
The much-touted One District One Product (ODOP) scheme launched by the state government to encourage setting up of processing units for local agrarian produce has failed to make much headway.
What is ODOP scheme
- Each district is to identify a food product, with special focus on perishable farm produce, cereal-based product, or a food product widely produced in the district and their allied sectors.
- The scheme is to facilitate entrepreneurs, in terms of procurement of inputs, common services and marketing of the product.
- It will also provide a framework for value chain development and alignment of support infrastructure. More than one cluster of products can be set up in a district.
In Solan district, fruits and processing of vegetables like mushroom has been placed on this list while in Sirmaur district, spices and processing of ginger and garlic are included under the scheme. The two districts have an abundant production of stone fruits such as apricot, plum and peach, spices such as ginger and garlic, and mushroom.
“In Solan district, the Industries Department have sanctioned three projects for processing mushrooms under this scheme, though 15 applications were received,” says Ashok Gautam, who looks after the ODOP scheme, District Industries Centre, Solan.
He says that the process to sanction more units is underway, including a Rs 29-lakh facility at Manju in Arki subdivision and two others at Basal and Solan.
Mushroom growers in Solan, acclaimed as the Mushroom City of India, however, resents that the lack of facilitation by the government has hit their prospects. “No compost unit has been set up after the closure of the earlier one, the land of which was acquired for the widening of the national highway at Chambaghat. Buying a bag of compost from other states costs Rs 100 as while it is locally available at Rs 65. This has made cultivation unviable,” a grower says.
In Sirmaur district, little enthusiasm has been witnessed for the scheme, which offers a maximum subsidy of Rs 10 lakh or 35 per cent of the project cost.
“Efforts to tie up with leading brands for garlic and ginger paste have failed to yield results, as they offer little to a grower,” another official says. Though successive state governments have announced to set up apple processing plants in Solan as a poll promise, little has been done.