ANANTAPUR: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has come forward to assist in the manufacture of agriculture equipment for processing of horticulture produces through its Defence Food Research Laboratory to benefit farmers in drought-hit areas.
DRDO chairman Sathish Reddy responded positively to be part of measures aimed at uplift of the farming community through cost-effective innovations.
Anantapur MP Talari Rangaiah met the DRDO chairman on Wednesday and explained the situation in drought-hit areas, especially Anantapur.
DFRL scientists from Mysore had recently visited fields of Anantapur district and had interacted with farmers into horticulture and agriculture.
Responding to representations by farmers and officials, the DFRL team agreed to set up processing units of tomato paste and sauce in Anantapur, Kadiri and Kalyanadurgam and other parts of the district.
The team also opined that horticulture and agriculture produce should have marketing facilities through processing units in the non-season while tomato price could be seen in the range of Rs. 1 to Rs.100 per a kg in the market.
“The processing units would help to provide attractive support price for farmers”, Rangaiah observed and added that he had asked the district horticulture and marketing officials to prepare a project report for submitting to DRDO within fifteen days.
Rangaiah sought a pilot project for processing units in Anantapur district.
Rangiah told DC that the DRDO chairman was positive towards improving the lot of farmers in drought-hit regions and introducing equipment and machines through small scale industries.
Horticulture officials observed that the farmers were earning meagre profits during peak seasons while the processing units could help get attractive prices for produce even during normal seasons.
Rapthadu MLA T. Prakash Reddy observed that the processing units should have capacity to store tomatoes even for 30-40 days so that they could be exported to Middle East countries....