India is one of the world's largest producers of food, and is the largest producer of milk, sugarcane and tea, as well as the second largest producer of rice, wheat, fruits, and vegetables. Nearly 70% of the population depend on agriculture and agro-based industries.
Agro Industry Scenario
The agro industry is regarded as an extended arm of agriculture. The development of the agro industry can help stabilise and make agriculture more lucrative and create employment opportunities both at the production and marketing stages. The broad-based development of the agro-products industry will improve both the social and physical infrastructure of India. Since it would cause diversification and commercialization of agriculture, it will thus enhance the incomes of farmers and create food surpluses.
The agro-industry mainly comprises of the post-harvest activities of processing and preserving agricultural products for intermediate or final consumption. It is a well-recognized fact across the world, particularly in the context of industrial development, that the importance of agro-industries is relative to agriculture increases as economies develop. It should be emphasized that ‘food’ is not just produce. Food also encompasses a wide variety of processed products. It is in this sense that the agro-industry is an important and vital part of the manufacturing sector in developing countries and the means for building industrial capacities.
| The agro Industry is broadly categorised in the following types:
(i) Village Industries owned and run by rural households with very little capital investment and a high level of manual labour; products include pickles, papad, etc. (ii) Small scale industry characterized by medium investment and semi-automation; products include edible oil, rice mills, etc. (iii) Large scale industry involving large investment and a high level of automation; products include sugar, jute, cotton...
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