Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Thursday launched Common Food Processing Incubation Center for Shallots (Small Onions) in Chettikulam village in Perambalur District of Tamil Nadu through video conferencing.
Speaking on the occasion, Badal said that it was a historic and auspicious occasion for Tamil Nadu and Chettikulam village in particular. She also congratulated Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), Thanjavur for their initiatives to help double farmers’ income by 2022. She also said that farmers in Perambalur district were producing 70,000 tonnes of shallots per year in a cultivation area of 8,000 hectares, inspite of the increasing difficulty in cultivation due to increase in prices of inputs, unpredictable weather, disease outbreak and not getting adequate prices in the market. This Central Processing Center for Shallots in Perambalur would ensure that no shallots are getting wasted, increase farmers’ income and also ensure availability of shallots to consumers. This Onion processing technology should be taken to all parts of India.
C. Anandharamakrishnan, Director, Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology said on the occasion, “His institute has decided to take one crop per year and develop processing technologies and related infrastructure for that crop. In this regard Mission Banana was implemented in the previous year and this year it is Mission Onion. Central Food Processing Center for Shallots in Chettikulam, Perambalur District is part of the Mission Onion in improving the lives of Onion farmers in this area. This center will help farmers’ to double their income through value addition. This center will process Shallots and produce 4 Shallot products viz. Fresh Shallot, Peeled Shallot, Onion Powder, Onion Paste and Onion Flakes. He also said that IIFPT was working on Mission Coconut which would be launched next year on World Coconut Day (2nd September 2018).
Perambalur district is the hub for small onions (Shallots) cultivation in over 8,000 hectares producing around 65,000 to 70,000 tonnes every year. Farmers reported massive losses due to conventional methods of handling and storage. Stakeholders from this region expressed their need to provide technological solutions to minimise wastage, particularly during seasons with surplus production. The farmer producers union which will be involved in this initiative was also launched recently.