Bihar is a land of immense opportunities for food processing owing to its agricultural potential, enabling policy environment and new schemes launched by Govt. of Bihar, said Sri A.K. Sinha, Principal Secretary, Deptt. of Industry. He further said that Bihar produces 50 lacs MT Paddy in an area of 40 lacs Ha. & 20 lacs MT of Maize in an area of 7 lacs Ha. It is third largest producer of vegetables (approx. 130 lacs MT), seventh largest producer of fruits (approx 30 lacs MT) and also has unique products like litchi, Makhana, Banana and Mangoes.
Sri Sinha, further informed the gatherings that the opportunities for rice based industries including modern rice milling and husk based power plants is quite large. Sri A.K. Sinha, Principal Secretary, Deptt. of Industry, Bihar was speaking at a two day (28th & 29th July) ‘International summit-cum-exhibition on Food Processing and Agribusiness’ held at New Delhi in Hotel Oberoi. This show has been organized by ASSOCHAM, New Delhi and Bihar is participating in it as a partner state. Sri Sinha further said that Bihar is the largest market for milled rice and the current milling capacity in the state is not enough to meet the demand. He informed that there is a thriving milling industry in Rohtas, Buxar, Kaimur, Aurangabad and Bhojpur areas.
Sri Sinha asserted that Bihar also provides enough scope for Maize based industries in terms of starch, poultry feed, corn oil, flakes and flour units. He informed that Khagaria, Madhepura, Katihar, Purnea, Saharsa and Begusarai are the main maize producing districts. According to him winter maize (rabi) is unique to the state and its production is increasing day by day. The state is a major supplier to the maize based industries located in northern and eastern India. He however, explained that it has insignificant processing facilities in the state.
According to Sri Sinha Bihar produces 75% of the litchi in the country with production area well connected by road and rail. There is about 10 lacs MT production of banana in Vaishali and Bhagalpur region. 20,000 MT of Makhana is produced in Darbhanga, Madhubani, Purnea and Katihar apart from other unique products.
Sri Sinha further informed that the government has decided to develop two integrated food zones and food parks and would setup 100 Rural Agribusiness centres, develop Rice, Makhana & Maize cluster, develop fish, poultry and meat sector and at the same time would set up a nodal Quality Assurance and Product Development Centre.
Principal Secretary, Sri Sinha explained the scores of governmental enabling policies undertaken to create investment friendly environment in Bihar. He particularly explained in detail about the “Industrial Incentive Policy 2006” abolishment of APMC Act and “Bihar Single Window clearance Act 2006”.
Sri Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister of Food Processing Industries, Govt. of India was the chief guest of the summit and inaugurated the exhibition. He visited the Bihar stall and appreciated Bihar’s effort in food processing Ms. Anshuli Arya, Managing Director, Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA) also participated in the summit apart from scores of officials from industry department of Bihar Govt.