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MP Talari talks with DFRL to set up fruit processing units
The district has a huge potential to emerge as a fruits’ exporter being the fruit basin of the state with 22 varieties of fruits being produced in the undivided district.
Anantapur: The district has a huge potential to emerge as a fruits' exporter being the fruit basin of the state with 22 varieties of fruits being produced in the undivided district. The promise made by TDP government to develop the district into a horticulture hub, remained an unfulfilled dream.
However, the bureaucrat-turned-first time MP Talari Rangaiah had been making tireless efforts to develop infrastructure for horticulture hub including Kisan Rail, food processing units, warehouses and cold storage units. Rangaiah was the moving force behind introduction of Kisan Rail in AP. He made efforts on a mission mode to flag the rail in AP benefitting horticulture and vegetable farmers in Rayalaseema but the tragedy is, all other districts except Anantapur is making use of the Kisan Rail. The MP also made Railways to add sleeper coaches to the train so that the farmers can travel in the same train to Delhi. The farmers could not make use of the train because of logistic problems of transporting their produce from their village to Anantapur railway station.
Speaking to The Hans India, Rangaiah said that most of the farmers being small and marginal farmers could not organise themselves to transport their produce to the Railway station.
The MP, who is a 'never say die' man is now planning to rope in farmers producers organisations (FPO) to organise the farmers so that they could reap the benefits of the Kisan Rail which is still on the move. The Kisan Rail Trust established to generate funds for financing the logistic problem was also his brainchild. Now, he is calling for a meeting of FPOs to involve them in solving the logistic problems of the farmers.
Rangaiah applied his mind on building horticulture infrastructure including establishment of food processing units. He roped in the Defence Food Research Laboratories, (DFRL) a wing of DRDO for setting up three units, a tomato, groundnut and sweet limes incubation centres are in the process of establishment. Initially, the tomato incubation centre will produce tomato ketchup, powder, sauce and other biproducts. Squash and juice will be produced with sweet lemons and salted roasted peanuts and peanut butter with groundnuts which are in great demand in Western countries. The DFRL would train prospective entrepreneurs to establish food processing industries for exporting processed fruit to abroad.
The MP said the Kisan Rail has generated Rs 500 crore revenue to Railways by transportation of Bananas, Pomogranates and sweet limes. The DFRL is also setting up a juice factory and a meat processing unit in Muddulapuram in Kuderu mandal.
The MP is actively working with the Central government to extract the district's due share of projects under the 2014 AP Reorganisation Act. Due to his efforts the Central University, NASCOM Institute and Bharat Electricals Limited are now becoming a reality. Replying to a question, Rangaiah said that his pet subject is rural livelihoods and that it is his vision to see young graduates and engineers to turn into entrepreneurs, establish industrial units and generate jobs and livelihoods in rural areas.