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Tripura eyeing food processing sector
Correspondent
 AGARTALA, Nov 21 – Aiming to explore the food processing segment, Tripura would soon start value addition to seasonal fruits by setting up food processing units here.

The units would be set up with investments from abroad, Principal Secretary Horticulture Dr VK Bahuguna said.

Speaking to media on Friday, he said the Agriculture and Horticulture departments are jointly working on value addition of three fruits – jackfruits, cashewnuts and lemon.

The State currently produces 2.69 lakh MT jackfruits spreading across 9,021 hectares of land. Nearly a lakh MT out of this remains as surplus each year. Similarly, 80,000 MT of pineapple out of total 8.65 MT production Statewide is surplus.

Over 12 MT lemon is reported to be surplus out of 18.42 MT total production.

The government would be soon taking a special drive for manufacturing juice, puree, jelly, slice and ready-to-eat processed fruits, Bahuguna said.

A team of experts from Kerala is scheduled to visit the State shortly to train a targetted group of 15 volunteers. An entrepreneur from Dubai recently visited the State and proposed large-scale investment for setting up the fruit-processing industry.

The State is reported to have developed a lot in using bio-fertilisers with an average annual use of 800 MT bio-fertiliser. Use of chemical fertiliser, on the other hand, is way below toxicity limits.

Tripura is using barely 65 kg of fertiliser per hectare including urea, potash, etc., while States like Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have often recorded use of 100-140 kg per hectare.

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