High tomato cost a hurdle in setting up processing units in Solan

High tomato cost a hurdle in setting up processing units in Solan

2022-04-25 23:34:44

Tribune News Service

Solan, April 25

The unavailability of low-cost tomatoes has become a hurdle in the setting up of processing units in Solan.

Baldev Bhandari, chairman, HP State Agricultural Marketing Board, addressing mediapersons here yesterday, said though announcements had been made to open such processing units, the unviability of the plan had acted as a deterrent.

“The cost is Rs 10 to Rs 15 per kg, but tomato processing will be viable if the cost is Rs 5 per kg. Since this cost will fail to meet the farmer’s inputs, processing units have not been set up,” said Bhandari.

Tomato is the main cash crop of Solan and the successive state governments have been promising the opening of processing centres for years.

He said the government had for the first time opened mandis to procure wheat and rice as farmers faced hardships while selling their produce in other states. He said 1.3 lakh quintal of wheat and 1.7 lakh quintal of rice had been procured in the last season from its mandis where farmers made online bookings and received payments within 48 hours. The government targeted to procure 6 lakh qunitals of wheat and 16 lakh qunitals of rice this year. He said 11 mandis had been opened in Kangra, Una, Solan, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts last year and the construction of four mandis had been completed.

Bhandari, agreeing that the scheme for trading produce directly from a farmer’s field, had met with limited success as merely 10 farmers had been brought under its ambit.

Online bidding under the e-Nam too had limitations but added that the system was gradually evolving as it required a robust infrastructure for delivery of produce to the buyer.

The APMC, Solan, has bagged the national award for excelling in business for 2019. Bhandari minced no words while admitting that some mandis were opened in rural areas which lacked viability and efforts were afoot to make a mandi at the Banelgi urban area.

Bhandari, in reply to a query, said some mandis had been opened on political considerations which failed to function optimally. — TNS

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Source by [himachalpradeshtourism.org]

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