Mission Onion Programme of
Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT)
Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology is a National research, education and entrepreneurship development institute under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India.
In line with the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister, the IIFPT, under the aegis of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Govt. of India has been working on the ‘Mission Onion Programme’ – a concept to double farmers’ income by 2022. As a flagship initiative, the institute has established a Common Food Processing Incubation Centre at Chettikulam village in Perambalur district to redress the needs of small onion farmers jointly with the Tamil Nadu State Department of Agricultural Marketing.
Perambalur being the hub for small onion produces around 70,000 tonnes of small onion on annual basis in over 8000 hectares of land area. Farmers of this region suffered huge loss in the onion supply chain due to lack of post harvest handling facilities. The farmers are in need of strong technological support to minimize post harvest and economic losses during surplus production and glut in the market. For instance, in seasons with small onion prices of Rs. 20/kg, farmers typically get Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 per acre, depending on quality and variety. However, when the prices fall, farmers suffer massive losses. During this season, value addition can play a vital role; fetching better returns in both domestic and export markets. IIFPT has developed process lines for manufacturing value added products such as onion powder, onion paste, vacuum packed peeled onion and dehydrated onion.
Considering drudgery of farm women during post-harvest handling of small onions, the institute has developed machinery for onion stem and root removal and onion peeling. Being first of its kind, these machinery have gained wide reception across the entire country in regions were small onion is grown. These IIFPT-made commercial processing machineries are commissioned at the common facility centre. The centre enabled the farmers to utilize the facilities and services of the centre for enhancing their incomes and livelihood.
Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hon’ble Union Minister of Food Processing Industries inaugurated the centre on 31st August 2017 in the presence of Smt. V. Santha, IAS, District Collector, Perambalur, Shri. Chandrasenan Nair, Joint Director of Agriculture (Regulated Market) Department of Agricultural Marketing & Agri Business, TN and Dr. C. Anandharamakrishnan, Director, IIFPT.
It has been a year of well-planned work by the entire IIFPT fraternity under the leadership of Dr. C. Anandharamakrishnan, Director, IIFPT; and IIFPT happily sees the center being well-utilized so as to improve the livelihood of onion growing farmers. This model unit paved way for replication of similar mission mode approach for a wide range of agricultural commodities across different parts of the country.