Industries and IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao has announced that the State government is preparing a comprehensive action plan to promote food processing industry to meet the expected demand in the coming days.

Accordingly, it has been decided to provide subsidies and incentives to those coming forward to invest in the sector. The government examined the best practices within the country and abroad in this direction for preparing an attractive policy governing the sector.

The Minister was participating in a high-level meeting of Ministers and senior officials convened to discuss the Food Processing Policy here on Wednesday. He made a presentation on the existing scenario wherein the State did not have the food processing capacity to match the growth in agriculture and allied sectors.

The steps initiated by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to strengthen irrigation network had ensured that there was significant rise in the ayacut across the State. Coupled with this was the emphasis on animal husbandry, fisheries and allied sectors which reported high levels of productivity.

The government took up mapping of cropping pattern village-wise on the instructions of the Chief Minister. The exercise revealed that there was significant rise in paddy, pulses and other crops after the formation of separate Telangana and the productivity was poised to grow manifold once the ongoing works on the irrigation projects were completed.

In this background, the facilities available for food processing were, however, not commensurate with the increased yield. In view of this, it was decided to formulate a comprehensive policy on food processing, he said, explaining the opportunities the sector was expected to throw up, including the scope for large-scale employment.

The meeting also discussed the infrastructure related to logistics available in the State. It was decided to formulate a new policy incorporating comprehensive guidelines to cover the sector.

The policies governing food processing and logistics were likely to be fine-tuned further before they were submitted to the Chief Minister for his consent.

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