Karnataka – Strengths and opportunities in food processing
The agro-based industries in the State are spread across all the 30 districts. Currently, there are about 54,905 agro-processing units with an investment of Rs.4,42,879 Lakhs have employed 3,24,148 manpower as on 31.03.2015. These are mainly in the MSME sector. The State is home to big players such as ITC, Nestle, Gujarat Ambuja, Brittania, Parle, Cargill India etc., in the agribusiness and food processing sector.
A well-developed Agribusiness and Food Processing sector with a higher level of processing and value addition helps in the reduction of wastage, promotes crop diversification, ensures a better return to the farmers, promotes employment as well as increases export earnings. This sector is also capable of addressing critical issues of food security, food inflation and providing wholesome and nutritious food to the masses.
Karnataka with its diversified agro-climatic conditions is home for the production of a variety of agricultural crops such as Sunflower, Maize, Tur, Jowar, Sugarcane, Bengalgram,Soyabean, Groundnut, Greengram, Blackgram, Safflower, Paddy, Cotton etc. The State also grows a variety of small and minor millets such as Foxtail Millet (Navane), Little Millet (Sawe), Finger Millet (Ragi), Bajra (Sajje), Haraka etc.During 2014-15 the State has produced 112.32 Lakh MT of Cereals, 13.90 Lakh MT of Pulses, 9.59 Lakh MT of Oil Seeds, 23.12 Lakh Bales of Cotton and 437.76 Lakh MT of Sugarcane.
The State is one of the major producers of a variety of horticulture crops. Fruits such as Sapota, Grapes, Pomegranate, Watermelon, Mango, Jackfruit, Papaya, Lime/ Lemon, Orange, Banana, Guava etc Vegetables such as Onion (including Bengaluru Rose Onion), Potatoes, Gherkins, Capsicum, Green Chilly, Tomato, Cucumber, Carrot, Beans etc Plantation & Spice Crops such as Coffee, Arecanut, Tamarind, Coconut, Vanilla, Black Pepper, Cloves, Cardamom, Dry Chilly, Turmeric, Cashewnut, Ginger, Garlic etc. Flowers such as Rose, Jasmine, Gerbera, Carnation, Anthurium, Orchids, Lillies, Chrysanthemum, Tuberose, Crossandra, Aster, Marigold etc., are grown in the State.Horticulture production area in the State accounts for about 16% of the total cultivable area. It includes plantation crops (45%), vegetables (23%), fruits (20%), spices (10%) and other commercial crops like flowers, medicinal and aromatic plants (2%).
During the year 2013-14, the State has produced 66.26 Lakh MT of Fruits, 82.50 Lakh MT of Vegetables, 4.85 Lakh MT of Plantation Crops, 6.56 Lakh MT of Spices, 2.14 Lakh MT of Commercial Flowers, 11351 MT of Medicinal Plants, 14282 MT of Aromatic Plants. (Annexure – II).
In Karnataka, only about 1% of the total production of fruits and vegetables is currently being processed for value addition. About 25 – 30% of post-harvest loss is estimated due to inadequate cold storage, required transport, poor handling, insufficient processing and other value addition facilities. At present, there are only 98 cold storage units having 2.97 Lakh MT for handling fruits and vegetables. Of these units, 2 are in co-operative, 90 are in private and 6 are in the public sector. Therefore, ample scope is available for investing to strengthen the cold storage and transportation facilities.
Karnataka livestock sector plays an important role in improving the economic status of the rural farmers who are dependent on the livestock for their livelihood. Karnataka has 2.90 crores of livestock and 5.34 crores of poultry population as per the 19th livestock census. Govt. of India has declared the state as a rinderpest disease-free zone.The share of animal husbandry in gross state domestic product of agriculture and allied activities was 20.27% during 2014-15. The share of Karnataka in all India poultry and livestock population was 5.41% and 7.33% respectively.
During the year 2014 -15, the state has produced 43,948 Lakh eggs (7th rank in the country), 1.81 Lakh MT meat (11th rank in the country), 61.23 Lakh MT milk (11th rank in the country).
Karnataka state has 320 KM of coastline along with 27000 square KM of continental shelf area, 5.65 Lakh hectares of various inland water resources and has vast scope for fisheries development. The brackish water area of 8000 hectares also provides good scope for shrimp/fish culture. Karnataka is one of the first states to facilitate the introduction of mechanised fishing boats leading to organized fishing in the sea. There are about 3780 mechanised fishing boats, 6978 motorized boats and 8119 traditional fishing boats operating along the coast. In recent years, bigger mechanized fishing boats having more than 20 M length with all communication and safety equipment are being operated in deeper waters, bringing in more fish catch. There are 8 fishing harbours and about 88 fish landing centres in the state. The state has witnessed an increase in the fish production from 5.26 Lakh MT in 2010-11 to 6.13 Lakh MT in 2014-15.