Agro processing industry which includes food processing, forms an important segment of the Indian economy in terms of: contribution to GDP, employment and investment. Agro-processing industries provide employment to rural areas and helps in narrowing down the economic disparity between rural and urban population. With rising purchasing power and growing nuclear families, the demand for processed foods, online marketing is witnessing a substantial surge. Rajasthan has a meagre share of 1.5% in country’s agri export of APEDA products. APEDA products cover about 52% of all agricultural export from country. Leading position in some of State specific crops and also a sizeable production of many other crops have not been reflected in export from the State.
The scope of the agri-processing industry encompasses all operations from the stage of harvest till the material reaches the end users in the desired form, packaging, quantity, quality and price.
Rajasthan, with its diverse agro-climatic conditions is richly endowed in the cultivation of variety of crops. The State is the largest producer of guar and seed spices like coriander, cumin, fenugreek, fennel, etc. The State is the largest producer of mustard, second largest producer of oil seeds and third largest producer of soybean. It is also the largest producer of gram and second largest producer of moth bean. Rajasthan has 10.4% of India’s Land area, 51.01% of which is under cultivation. This makes up for 20.67% of the State GDP, with 62% of total workers of the State dependent on this for livelihood. In 2013-2014, the total production of food grain of the State was estimated as 199.88 lakh tons.
Rajasthan has proximity to large consumer markets in the region (close to NCR) which has a large share of food consumption in the country. Infrastructure like Agro Food Parks at Kota, Jodhpur, Sriganganagar and Alwar has been developed by RIICO. Rajasthan also offers immense opportunities in the areas of organic farming, contract farming and in the field of post-harvest infrastructure such as special ware-houses, cold chains, testing & certification facilities.