The government of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is slated to spend around Rs 2,600 crore in creating over 5,000 storage units for agriculture produce across the state, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told an a conference organised by industry conference CII on Friday.
He said improving agriculture infrastructure was a top priority of his government as it intended to make further gains in its leadership position in several food grains and horticulture produce.
“To ensure proper storage at grassroots level, we have allocated Rs 2,600 crore for creation of 5,380 godowns. On a cumulative basis, these storage units will have space close to 8,50,000 metric tonnes,” the chief minister said.
He told the virtual conference that the state government had decided to upgrade over 25 mandis in the state. “We have decided to modernise 27 mandi units all across the state. Twenty four of them are dedicated to fruits and vegetables where we will be installing proper cold chain facilities.”
Besides these, UP government’s agri infra development plan also includes creating two large-scale mango pack-houses in Amroha and Varanasi.
The government is also looking at developing Siddharthnagar district as the new hub of black rice, a premier quality variant that is growing in popularity. Several villages in the district are known for their Kalamank variety of black rice produce and it has already been accorded a geographical tag.
“Our idea to develop Varanasi as a horticulture exports center has also taken off with a commendable level of shipment especially to the Middle East markets last year. And we intend to further develop it as a major international hub for horticulture produce from the state,” the chief minister said.
Emphasising on the need to link small farmers with mainstream agriculture and food value chain, he maintained that the state government has decided to promote Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) in a major way.
“Ninety-two percent of farmers in the state are small and we are committed to efficiently link them with other critical stakeholders. The union government has announced promoting 10,000 FPOs in the coming years. We will take this route and create about 825 FPO agencies – one each in every development block in the state. They will help in linking small farmers with agriculture entrepreneurs and food companies,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, is an agriculture powerhouse with proven leadership position in the production of wheat, barley, sugarcane, potato and dairy. It is also the largest producer of fruits and vegetables on a cumulative basis.