The agro-industries have a larger scope for acceleration in future given the thrust on doubling farmer’s income. It demands for a vibrant and robust response from agro-based food and agro-based non-food industries and other stakeholders involved in the cold chain management.
The cold storage facilities need to be developed in the major production catchments so that the farmer has the option to store the produce and may hold it back when the market is saturated and sell it when shortages occur.
Turning agro and food-processing industry into a major export industry can also create vast employment opportunities for workers since it is a labour intensive industry.
Agri-based industries conform to the notion of competitive advantage both within and outside the country. They can play a role of a safety valve to absorb surplus rural labour and can address the problem of large scale unemployment/disguised employment in rural areas.
To reduce waste and cut back on transport and handling costs, primary processing of all foods and processing of perishable foods needs to be undertaken in, or adjacent to, the point of production.
It is high time that the national plan for improvement and extension of agro-processing technology at farm, traditional small industry and modern industry levels is prepared, while taking into account tge diversity in resources and needs of different regions in the country.
Thrust areas for research and development need to be identified and met with. More financial incentives and support need to be provided to promote the modernization of agro-processing industry and for establishing new such industries in production catchments.
The govt. needs to ensure a level playing field to agro-based industries vis-à-vis unfair trade practices adopted by exporters of other countries. Awareness generation amongst agro-based industries becomes a key ingredient in successful utilization of available trade remedies and to protect them from unfair trade practices of exporters of other countries.