Agri tech startup Our Food and Telangana government have signed an MoU that seeks to promote food processing at the farm level by facilitating creation of the infrastructure as well as take the processed products to consumers.
The T-Hub incubated start-up, which recently opened a manufacturing facility for food processing equipment in Zaheerabad, will be collaborating with the State government to set up 20,000 micro food processing units over the next five years. From rice, pulses, groundnut, millets, turmeric to chilli, all major crops grown in the State are expected to be covered under the MoU.
Addressing media, on the MoU, Industries and IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said food processing has emerged as a focus area with agriculture yield enhancing substantially in the backdrop of irrigation facilities developed by the State government. The emphasis should be on primary processing since that would reduce dependence on middlemen.
A release said the MoU will augment the process of setting up of food processing units in the vicinity of farms, thus generating rural employment and increasing opportunities to improve farmers’ income. Our Food has partnered with financial institutions to facilitate the establishment of food processing units by potential rural entrepreneurs. Besides offering prospects for improved income, value addition at the farm level will reduce post-harvest losses.
Our Food CEO Balareddy said the micro food processing units being established by the company required 1,000 sq ft of area and a portion of the project cost to be borne by the farmers. The company arranged loans for the remaining amount. The firm manufactures eight food processing equipment and intends to add 15 more to its product portfolio.
He said the firm has plans to grow its footprint to 15 States, scale up its manufacturing capacity to opening a bigger facility and raise ₹150 crore, from investors and as debt.
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