Food processing opportunities aplenty
There is scope for enterprises based on tomatoes, in view of abundant production of the horticulture crop in the district
Tirupati: Food processing is one of the potential activities in Chittoor district providing enormous opportunity for the investors, thanks to abundant availability of raw materials in the district.
This includes mainly milk chilling and processing, fruit processing i.e., mango pulp, mango Juice (concentrate), canning, tamarind concentrate, and related packaged foods.
Thanks to the successive governments' sustained efforts through various initiatives, such as liberal financing through banks for purchase of milch animals, artificial insemination for increasing the number of cross breed cows, promotion of fodder cultivation, supply of nutritious feed and concentrate sake daily. The milk production gradually increased, transforming the lives of the poor small and marginal farmers and agriculture labourers for better through dairy.
This also resulted in many major dairies setting up their units in the district while many more evincing interest to set up their units in the district due to its strategic location of between two metropolitan cities - Bengaluru and Chennai - providing a huge market for milk and milk based products.
This apart, thanks to the excellent network, milk is also being sent through special trains to far off places like Delhi to meet the demand there.
According to official sources, the daily milk collection is about 23 lakh litres by various dairies while another 17 lakh litres produced by the milk farmers mostly women goes to the domestic market i.e., locals' consumption amply reveal that the district is emerging as a major milk producer in the State.
There are more than 50 dairies including the major ones Hatson, Heritage, Schreiber Dynamix, Dodla, Tirumala, Sivasakhti, Parag Milk to begin with. Dairy giant Amul also recently joined dairy club following a tie up with State government to boost the industry benefitting the dairy farmers in Chittoor district, which is heavenly for those depending on the dairy for livelihood.
The agriculture in the district being mostly rain-fed does not depend on the major irrigation facilities like in other Rayalaseema districts including Kurnool and Kadapa. Social activists fighting for a fair deal to dairy farmers say that the dairy industries were paying Rs 25-30 per litre to milk producing farmers against the market price (consumer) of Rs 60. This underlines the dire need for more dairy units and also reviving the Chittoor coop dairy society for providing competitive price to milk producing farmers; at the same time generating employment for hundreds of farmers. Another high potential activity under food processing is mango based
products including pulp, juice and canning. The district is one of the major mango producers with about 1.20 hectares crop area under mango cultivation. Mostly the pulp variety mangoes are grown here, which saw about 50 industries being set up, including the Galla Fruits floated by Amara Raja group of companies, Capricorn, Jain Irrigation, Foods and Inns, PLR Foods, Navya Fruit Processing, RMM Foods and Tasa Foods. These industries mostly located in the mandal near Chittoor and some in the Srini Food Park at Mogili in Bangarupalem mandal.
While tamarind processing still remains untapped for investors, which offers a huge market. It is still remas a cottage industry in the district. This industry offers jobs to about 10,000 people in Punganur, though it has much scope to grow. This apart, there are six tomato pulp units functioning in the district. There is more scope for enterprises based on tomatoes, in view of the abundant production of the horticulture crop in the district. These units would be beneficial to farmers who often resort to distress sale due to glut. The list of a few major enterprises operating in the Sri City SEZ includes Mondelez (Cadbury chocolates), Kelloggs (Corn flakes), Godavari Udyog, Lavazza, Parle, Farmgate,Tata Smart Food ,Vista Processed Food and Charan Pokphand (CPF).
District Industries Centre (DIC) General Manager Pratap Reddy says that construction work on which is under progress many big industries including Britannia, Anila SRK Food Park and Nava Quality Foods.