Organic Agro-processing Centre established near Akola in Maharashtra
The post harvest technology scheme at Dr. PKV Akola has established the first organic agro processing centre at Nimkhed Bazar, Anjangaon Surji, Distt. Amravati. The agro processing centre includes PKV mini dat mill, PKV cleaner grader, destoner, mini oil mill and papad making machine. The organic APC was inaugurated by the Vice- Chancellor of Dr. PKV Akola on April 3, 2004.
A group of 280 farmers of Vidharba region with the total land holding of about 4000 acres have come together to grow crops organically under the coordinatorship of Sh. Deepak Shinde. More farmers are joining this group. Sh. Shinde has been interacting with farmers in USA, Poland, U.K. and other developed countries to exchange knowledge in the field of organic farming. He has established electronic communication facilities in the rural area to facilitate fast communication and sale of organic produce. The group is selling its organic produce in local as well as foreign markets. There is already a huge demand for the organically processed products which command 10-25 per cent higher prices as compared to the normal products.
Organically grown food must be processed organically for organic certification. Besides, some value could be added to the produce right in the production catchments with the help of appropriate post harvest technology. It is in this context, that the organic agro-processing centre at Nimkhet has been set up. The organic agro-processing centre will create opportunities for employment and increased farm income.
The All India Coordinated Research Project on Post technology has been promoting agro-processing centres in the production catchments to reduce post harvest losses, create rural employment and enhance rural income. More than 250 agro- processing centres have already been set up in various parts of the country.