Agro-climatic conditions and hardworking attitude of farmers in India has made India the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. It produces wide-range of fruits-temperate and tropical fruits besides a very vast range of vegetables. The total output of fruits and vegetables is estimated to be approximately 102 million tonnes. A large quantity of fruits and vegetables are processed through simple process of drying or pickle making for the home consumption and also for other commercial use. However, the percentage of fruits and vegetables that are processed in the organised fruits and vegetable processing industry for the commercial purposes and to make value added food products is approximately 1.3% of the total output at present. This ofcourse does not include sun-dried or fried products. The low percentage of processing of fruits and vegetables is generally attributed to their higher consumption as a fresh produce, food habits and traditions besides other factors like higher cost of packaging, transportation and inadequacy of capacities for processing. However, as the socio-economic factors are changing, oflate, there has been growing market for processed fruits and vegetables other than dried and sun-dried products and is raising at the rate of approximately 20% per annum.
The liberalised policies of the Government and the incentives provided for this industry coupled with changing socio-economic conditions have given a boost to the fruits and vegetable processing industry. A higher production of traditional items like pickles, preserves, chuttneys, etc., in the organised sector which used to be prepared in the house-holds earlier indicate that the consumer is now depending more on convenient food items. Similarly, higher consumption of items like jams, ready-to-serve food, fruit based beverages, frozen vegetables, etc., are also indicative of change in consumption pattern.
As indicated above, with the liberalisation, there has been a spurt in the growth of fruits and vegetable processing industry. The total installed capacity of fruits and vegetable processing industry has been increasing steadily now. Whereas the capacity of an automatic/mechanised units can be assessed almost accurately, in the case of semi-automatic or smaller units, the precision in this regard is not possible because of higher use of different raw-materials and production of various end products.
The estimated installed capacity of fruits and vegetable processing industry is around 14.02 lakh tonnes as against 12.60 lakh tonnes last year and the production for the corresponding period is expected to be about 6.76 lakh tonnes as against 5.59 lakh tonnes lat year. Amongst various segments of fruit products, items like frozen fruits and vegetables registered over 35% growth, where as items like fruit pulps, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, tomato products, registered a growth of about 25%. Condied and crystalised fruits, RTS beverages also registered a growth of approximately 20%. Canned and bottled fruits and vegetables, venegar and sauces, jams, squashes and syrups registered growth of less than 10% whereas others between 10-15%.
REGULATION AND CONTROL
To administer the Fruit Product Order (FPO)-1955 issued under the Essential Commodities Act, the Ministry has one regional office each at New Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and a sub-office at Lucknow. The Fruit Product Order- 1955 lays down the requirements of area, sanitary and hygienic conditions, machinery, equipments and other specifications for various fruit products. Thus, those who wish to manufacture fruit products for commercial purposes have to obtain a licence under the Fruit Product order -1955, which is granted after ascertaining that the unit meets the requirements in regard to areas, sanitary, and hygienic conditions, potable water, machinery and equipment, etc. With a view to protect the consumer the specifications for labels have also been provided under the said order and the manufacturers are allowed to sale products only under approved labels. During the year, 3214 samples were drawn and analysed to see the conformity of the products under FPO specifications. The number of licencees under Fruit Products Order 1955 stands increased to 4270 as against 4132 last year. Besides, a compulsory preshipment inspection to certify the quality of products being exported is also carried out by the Directorate of Fruits and vegetable Preservation wherever required. The export of fruit products for the year 1994-95 is estimated to be around Rs.365 crores as against Rs.318.16 crores last year.
100% Export Oriented Units
While no industrial licence is required for setting up of fruit & vegetable processing industries, proposals for setting up of 100% EOUs and other such proposals which do not fall within the parameters of delicensing continue to require the approval of the Government based on the recommendations of this Ministry. During the period from April, 1994 to 20th January, 1995, 31 such proposals for setting up of 100% EOUs and 40 proposals for joint-venture projects have been approved by the Government. Number of such approvals since July, 1991 now stands at 165. Of these, 94 proposals involve foreign equity investment. The total investment approved in this sector so far is Rs.1240 crores. Twenty 100% EOUs have already commenced commercial production.
Plan Assistance Provided to the Fruits & Vegetable Processing Sector.
In order to remove some of the major constraints affecting the fruit and vegetable processing industries and to provide the necessary impetus to its growth, Ministry of Food Processing Industries have several plan schemes in the fruits and vegetable processing sector. These include schemes for training of entrepreneurs, setting up of F&VP units, development of backward linkages through contract farming, development of infrastructure such as cold storages, infrastructure for mushrooms etc., market promotion through advertisement, promotion of FPO symbol and marketing of small manufacturers' products under common brand name, setting up of quality control labs and R&D in identifying new techniques and practices including those for packaging.
Under the scheme for setting up of Food Processing and Training Centres in rural areas, assistance is provided upto Rs.2.00 lakhs for plant, machinery and equipments including quality testing equipments etc and Rs.1 00 lakh towards seed capital for commercial production to cooperatives, non-governmental organisations, voluntary organisations, Govt. organisations etc. for setting up of such training Centres to provide training to entrepreneurs including unemployed youth and SC/ST trainees. Training in these Centres will be for all relevant activities such as technology, production, marketing, book keeping, quality control etc. These Food Processing and Training Centres will provide 'hands on' experience in operating and managing a small unit. The trainees will participate in each activity from book-keeping, manufacturing, quality testing to marketing of products so as to get an exposure and experience of real situations which will instill confidence in them to set up and run commercial ventures. This type of education is also to generate a spirit of co-operation and encourage formation of Food Processing Co-operatives in rural areas.
Till the end of the financial year, 1993-94, assistance was provided for setting up of 121 such Centres covering almost all the States. During the period under report (till January, 1995), assistance has been provided to setting up of 29 such Centres in the States of Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Tripura, U.P. and Haryana. Out of the 121 FPTCs assisted in 1992-93 and 1993-94, as many as 47 Centres are reported to have already become functional and more than 1500 trainees have already been trained in those Centres and some of them are reported to have already been engaged in the production.
Under the scheme of setting up of F&VP Units and infrastructure units, assistance is provided to the State Government Organisations, Co-operatives, Voluntary Organisations, Autonomous bodies Joint Sector Units, Assisted & Private Sector Units for setting up/upgrading/enlarging of F&VP Units and Food Processing Units as well as development of infrastructure for post-harvest processing and storage etc. In the year 1993-94, assistance to the tune of Rs. 433.08 lakhs was provided for setting up/upgrading/enlarging of 13 F&VP units. These projects in Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland are expected to go into operation soon. Under the other scheme for development of infrastructure for F&VP units, 5 projects from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka were provided assistance to the tune of Rs.188.00 lakhs. These projects are reported to be at various stages of implementation. During 1994-95 (till 20.1.1995), 5 F&VP projects from Bihar, Himachal pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh have been assisted. Also, during the same period, 8 projects for setting up of pre-cooling, cold chain and post-harvest facilities in Karnataka and Maharashtra have been assisted.
In order to ensure regular supply of raw materials to the processing industries, this Ministry seeks to encourage contract farming by the processing industries. Under the scheme for strengthening of backward linkages, assistance is provided for contract with atleast 25 farmers upto 5% of purchase price subject to a ceiling of Rs.10.00 lakhs per unit. During 1994-95, (till Jan. 95), 8 processing units in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have so far been provided assistance in the form of reimbursement and it is reported that more than 2000 farmers have been brought under umbrella of contract farming. A few similar proposals are under examination.
Growing and processing of mushrooms offer potential both for domestic and export markets. In order to remove major constraints in processing and cultivation of mushrooms, this Ministry is implementing a scheme for development of infrastructure for which assistance is provided for setting up of Spawn Laboratories, Compost Pasteurisation and processing facilities for mushrooms. Assistance under this scheme has also been provided to the organisations located in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Orissa, Madhya pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and West Bengal and those in Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh have already been completed.
A large 100% Export Oriented Integrated Mushroom Cultivation and Processing Unit in Punjab which was assisted in the last two years has already gone into steam in Sept., 1994 and is reported to have started export of canned Mushrooms.
Hops is an essential raw material required for the manufacture of beer With the increase in production capacity in the beer industry, a considerable demand for hops is likely to be generated in the coming years. At present the domestic requirement of hops is being taken up under a scheme formulated for providing assistance for developing hops and its processing in hilly regions of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir etc. So far assistance to the tune of Rs.73.00 lakhs has been provided for development of such facilities in Himachal Pradesh. The hops project in Himachal Pradesh is nearing completion and is expected to become operational soon.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES
Ministry also provided assistance for research and development project in fruits and vegetable processing sector to : (i) Centre for Technology Development, Bangalore for an amount of Rs.10 lakhs for setting up an Analytical and Quality Control Lab; (ii) APEDA, New Delhi for an amount of Rs.25 lakhs for Vapour Heat Treatment Facility for Mangoes and other fruits for export; and (iii) M/s. Fresh Marketing Cooperative Society Limited for an amount of Rs.5 lakhs for installation of a Solar Refrigeration Unit received from FAO. Ministry in collaboration with Deptt. of Biotechnology is setting up Biotechnology Research Centre for national facility for Food Safety at CFTRI, Mysore, at an estimated cost of Rs.373.65 lacs. Ministry is contributing about 50% of the cost. During the current financial year, an amount of Rs.50 lacs has already been released.