Agri Business

Rajasthan has a sweet deal for orange processing units

TV Jayan Kota | Updated on January 11, 2018

Varieties of orange developed at the Centre of Excellence in Citrus at Kota in Rajasthan

Among the top producers of the fruit, the western State plans to offer 50% subsidy

Rajasthan, which is now the country’s fourth-largest producer of oranges, has drawn up plans to woo entrepreneurs to set up processing units in State.

“We plan to give 50 per cent up subsidy — of up to ₹20 lakh — to those who are willing to establish post-harvest processing units here,” Rajasthan Minister for Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Prabhu Lal Saini, said last week. These units should engage in grading, waxing and packaging as well as pulp extraction at the farm gate, he said.

“We would like to market them under a newly-coined brand name Raj Santara,” the Minister told a group of journalists here.

Rajasthan’s Kota division, which accounts for 98 per cent of the 2.67-lakh tonne of oranges produced in the State, already has a Centre of Excellence for Citrus, which is developing newer varieties suitable for its farmers.

The centre has developed 16 varieties of oranges and eight varieties of lemons so far. Some are being currently tested on an experimental basis, said Rashid Khan, in-charge of the centre.

Set up with help from Mashav, Israel’s internation aid agency, under the National Horticultural Mission, the centre is also training farmers on modern agricultural practices such as mulch-, drip- and ridge-bed system for irrigation.

Among the varieties of oranges being grafted at the centre include globally popular varieties such as Jaffa, Valencia, Daisy and Clementine. Currently, the centre has facilities to graft as many as 50,000 plants annually and each plant will be priced at a subsidised rate of ₹50, said Khan.

“Adopting new cultivation practices may cost them 15 per cent more, but the yield will leap 35 per cent or more,” said Khan.

Atuljeet Singh Jhala, a farmer who has an orange orchard in Jhalawar district, said he was impressed with the work being done at the centre and was willing to set aside a small area in his farm for trying out newer varieties, if they can convince him about the benefits.

“Farmers like me normally sell oranges at prices as low as ₹8 per kg, whereas the same is sold for ₹80 in city markets,” said Jhala, adding that the coming up of processing units might help the farmers get a better price.

(The writer was in Rajasthan recently on the invitation of the State government)

Published on May 21, 2017

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like