Food processing national mission to address crop wastage: Min

Dehra Dun, May 29 (PTI) To address the widespread wastage of horticulture crops, Union Minister of State for Food Processing and Agriculture Harish Rawat today said the Centre would soon launch ''food processing national mission''.
"For addressing the issues related to widespread wastages and losses of horticulture crops, we will now launch the food processing national mission," Rawat said at a national seminar on Horti Business Linking Farmers with Market at ONGC''s auditorium here.
Expressing concern that the growth of processing of the fruits is hovering around 3-3.5 per cent only in the country, Rawat said under the mission 2025, the centre would increase its growth to 25 percent. He also expressed concern over the 30 to 40 per cent of losses and wastages of horticulture crops in this regard.
On the national policy for farmers, he said the stress is being given on the convergence so that farmers can get better price and there is value addition to the crop.
He also expressed concern over the fast dwindling sizes of the farm holdings saying big infrastructure projects were responsible for it. In this regard, he called for following the Nehruvian model where the late Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru had said "everything can wait but not agriculture."
He said in the next 12th plan efforts are being made to spend more on agriculture research programmes where the country is currently spending only 0.5 per cent of the GDP.
Rawat also stressed the need to bring the research works from laboratories to land in order to boost the agriculture sector.

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