The forthcoming Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet (GRAM) in Kota will provide an apt platform for investors to explore horticulture projects as the Division is a hub in cultivation of horticultural crops which can deliver rich dividends to farmers through value addition, Neelkamal Darbari, Principal Secretary, Agriculture and Horticulture, Government of Rajasthan said today.
GRAM Kota will be held on May 24-26 2017 at RAC Parade Ground, Shivpura, Kota in Rajasthan. The event is being jointly organised by the Government of Rajasthan and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
Darbari further said that Kota is the world’s largest producer of coriander with 95 percent of the State’s total production in the Division (comprising of Kota, Jhalawar, Bundi and Baran districts). A newer variety of coriander with higher oil concentration can be introduced. “There also lies scope in storage as well as post-harvest management of coriander production. Similarly, manufacturing pharmaceuticals which use coriander as an ingredient, branding and marketing of the local produce can also be explored,” she added..
The Division is also the 4th largest producer of oranges and garlic in India. There has been a significant increase in production of garlic in the past few years. The rising production of garlic should attract garlic processing units. However, currently there is a gap which makes leeway for significant investment avenues. Similarly, there is also scope for investment in cold storage structures, dehydrated garlic processing, garlic flakes and garlic powder and manufacturing pharmaceuticals which use garlic as an ingredient.
Kota region also produced 98 percent of the State’s orange production in 2015-2016 thus making citrus fruits a key strength for the Division. The Division also has a Center of Excellence (CoE) focused on citrus fruits in Nanta. Given the large levels of production, there are numerous opportunities in production, storage as well as processing of citrus fruits. There lies potential for production of new varieties of oranges with higher pulp content like Valencia and Jaffa oranges.
Opportunities post-harvest processing of citrus fruits in terms of grading, sorting and packaging of units are also present and have scope. The branding and marketing operations of the locally sourced produce can also be explored. Production of value added products like orange puree and orange juice concentrate is also another area for investments.
Guava too has a strong presence in the Division. This fruit contributes 24 percent to the total state production of the fruit and has greater productivity than the State average for the crop. However, most farmers sell the produce locally as guava lacks an organized procurement channel. Similar to citrus fruits opportunities exist in terms of grading, sorting and packaging units. Production of value added products like extraction of guava pulp to make jams, jellies and juices can also be explored.
Other new crops like strawberry, pomegranate and dragon fruit can also be grown in the Division owing to favourable soil and weather conditions. Production of these higher value crops can significantly improve farmers’ income. Important medicinal plants like Ashwagandha and Isabgol have immense growth scope in the Kota Division. Currently, the production of these crops are at a nascent stage but can be promoted given favourable growing conditions. Post-harvest storage and processing are potential areas for investment.
The event will bring all stakeholders – farmers from in and around Kota, academicians, technologists, agribusiness companies and policy makers.