Potential of Rice-Based Food Processing Industries Along Eastern Plains of River Ganga
Indian Institute of Public Administration IP Estate
ITO (Ring Road), New Delhi 110002, India
The Indo-Gangetic plains are considered to be the most fertile land area within India. It contains alluvium type of soil which is rich in nutrients and have high water retention capacity. According to many agricultural think tanks, including Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the northern belt of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) and Bihar are the only states having naturally sustainable soil conditions for the cultivation of water-intensive rice crops in India and are also among very few regions of Asia. This paper will be an attempt to propose an integrated system where Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets like poverty, well-being, economic growth, innovation and infrastructure, and sustainable communities will be addressed. With the optimum production of rice in the region and with the support of government schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampda Yojana scheme for overall growth and development of food processing units, food processing industries can be established in selected pockets of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The food processing industries based on rice processing will produce varied local sweets such as Anarsa, Lakhtho, Thekua, etc., and food products that can get a vital push from the government’s One District One Product (ODOP) scheme. With the help of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the products can be promoted for international exports as well. Also, it will address the much-known menace of outmigration (4–5 million of workforce per annum) from states and will provide local human capital with income growth and identity. A whole integrated system can be built where linkages from farm to market can be created which will reap farmers: good prices and regular procurement, food industries: good promotion of products plus profits, and local people: economic and social protection. Therefore, by using locally climate suited crop and government supported food parks or industrial system, the holistic aim of 3P’s – people, planet, and profit, will be realized.
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