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Agro Processing Clusters – Important Equipment of Modern Agriculture

Agro Processing Clusters is the base of various processed food industries in India. These food processing industries provide processed food items like; flour, cereals, dry fruits, tea, coffee, ready-to-eat items, snacks, snack foods, ready-to-eat products etc. Processing industries in India are getting popular day-by-day due to its several advantages. This popularity is increasing because of the following reasons:

Due to the ever increasing population of the world, the food processing industries are growing fast and giving tremendous profit margins. This high demand of processed food in different parts of the world has given rise to the globalization.

The food processing industry is now spreading its wings from Asia to Europe and United States of America. This is mainly because of the fact that India is a leading economy with the potential of developing a strong economy within a short period of time.

The demand for food processing products in India is increasing tremendously, which requires more than the supply of the raw material. The market of agro processing clusters in India is continuously increasing due to the following reasons: there are more people are now demanding processed food, the world’s population has increased, and the demand of processed food from other countries have also increased to meet the growing demands.

Due to these reasons, the Government of India has taken some beneficial steps by encouraging the development of food processing industries. Government of India has taken some wise decision to improve the working conditions and standard of the agro processing clusters in India.

Agro processing Clusters

These technologies are easily accessible and they do not require too much investment on the part of the food processing industries. These techniques are readily adopted by the processors and it requires less capital to adopt them. The cost of setting up these processing technologies has come down.

India’s food processing industry is enjoying great potentiality in recent years. The food processing industries are offering variety of processed food items such as ready made food products, dried fruits, vegetables, meat products, bakery items, etc. These technologies have reduced the processing costs considerably. With these improved processing techniques, the processing costs can be reduced to more affordable levels.

The processing technologies available for agro-processing clusters have made the functioning of the various processors in India much simpler. The processing of raw materials and the resulting products is well organised in these clusters. It is made much easier to get the desired results from the various products.

The processing technologies available for the food processing industries can be grouped into three main groups. These include automated processing equipment, semi-automated processing equipment and fully automated processing technologies. The semi-automatic processing equipments make processing less labour intensive but these need skilled personnel for their proper execution. Also they are quite expensive. The fully automated processing technologies have made the tasks of processing easier, but these are quite costly.

The processing equipments for agro-processing clusters need to have certain attributes. They have to be robust, compact, versatile, long lasting, water resistant and economical. Also they have to have a high reliability and efficiency. The highly automated processing equipments should have control systems designed and installed by experienced technicians. The equipment should have excellent communications systems to have fast and efficient data transfers.

Agro Processing Clusters

The semi automatic systems have a number of processing lines for all the products. These lines can be arranged in any suitable manner. Similarly this kind of system can also be arranged in batch or line processing. Other important things that an efficient semi processing equipment should have been quality assurance test sheets and control systems.

These systems are not only efficient but also very safe. The equipments are mainly designed for smooth functioning. The parts that are used in these machines are usually made of plastic material. The plastic material should have the property of being malleable and easy to work with. The parts should also have the property of being able to withstand heat and pressure.

The processing time of the agro-processing cluster should be less than fifteen minutes. Also the machines should be able to accept different varieties of products. These products can be ready in lesser time. The machine should be of high quality. This means that it should not only be durable but also should have a long life span.

Agro Processing Clusters in the state of Maharashtra is being implemented by the State Government under the MoFITI scheme. The state MoFITI is designed to boost to the food industry. The state government has released funds for setting up of processed food industries. In order to avail of the incentives, the industries should adopt some latest technologies. The industries are providing modern machineries and technologies to make processing simple and efficient.

If the developers succeed in setting up new processing industries in a particular area, they have to share the benefits with the neighboring areas also. For example, an expansion in a sugarcane plantation can give rise to an agro-processing cluster in another area.

Food Processing Clusters

To create effective backward linkages with the neighboring markets, the clusters should provide easy access to the markets and the processors. The public can easily access these processors and markets through well-equipped supply chain. The cluster should have enough portability and flexibility to allow easy movement from one location to another.

This will enhance the ability of the processor to move into the lucrative business of agro-food. It will also help it gain a leading position in the global food market.

A key decision taken at the initial stage is the inclusion of a desirably IT backbone for running the cluster. It is important that the plan for creating an efficient agro-processing clusters must focus on creating an efficient IT backbone to run all the critical activities and a comprehensive and complete communications infrastructure.

The plan for setting up of this scheme includes a detailed analysis of the current reality faced by the small and medium scale farmers in rural India. They face several challenges such as poor soil, lack of skilled labor, limited capital and financial resources and improper transport infrastructure.

An agro-food processing cluster in India can contribute substantially towards achieving the above said challenges. The second largest producer of tomatoes in the entire world, it has the capability to export its products globally.

Its tremendous capacity and experience in growing and harvesting plants in a very short period of time adds to its reliability and the ability to keep on producing. This Indian company has also been able to establish joint ventures with several other international companies to source their raw materials and promote their products globally. It has a huge capacity for employing thousands of people in various segments of the food industry.

Conclusion:

A major part of an agro-processing cluster is the development of processing industries along the lines of the latest technology emerging in the market. Setting up of agro-processing clusters has made possible the movement of goods very conveniently. This cluster of processing plants and packaging rooms allows the processing of large volumes of perishable food items with increased levels of speed.

The major benefit of this agro-processing cluster is that it helps the processing industries to make good profits by reducing their operation cost. At the same time, it increases the productivity and improves the distribution system.

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