BIHAR: LAND OF IMMENSE OPPORTUNITIES FOR FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY
Bihar is the eighth largest producer of food grains in the country, the second largest producer of vegetables (6.72 million MT per annum) and the sixth largest producer of fruits (3.03 million MT per annum). Bihar has a huge base of agriculture production. The state has an excellent climate with fertile soil and abundant water. Its diverse agro-climatic conditions translate into diverse crops suited to different agro-economic conditions. Coupled with the fact of ever growing population with an increasing purchasing power and changing life style, the state thus offers an immense opportunity to establish wide range and big numbers of food processing units.
Based on the resources available in the state, the major attractions for food processing industry are outlined as follow:
Modern Rice MillsBihar is also one of the largest markets for milled rice. Thus, there is a large scope for setting up new and modern rice mills in the state which can make variety of rice products.
- Under foodgrains, the percentage share of rice is around 45 percent. The productivity of rice was about 2463 KGS/HA in the year 2011-12.
- The state has some famous fine varieties including Katarani rice, renowned for its special aroma, produced in Bhagalpur- Munger region. Patna rice is another fine variety of the state. ‘Sona Chood’ of Bhojpur region is yet another scented variety of paddy grown in Bihar.
- Districts like Rohtas, Kaimur, Aurangabad, Bhojpur and Buxar in south-west region, are known as the “Rice Bowl” of the state. These districts account for more than 30% of rice production and have a thriving rice milling cluster.
- Bihar is also one of the largest markets for milled rice. In fact, installed capacity of rice milling is not enough to meet the existing demand and existing mills also require expansion and modernization. Thus, there is a large scope for setting up new and modern rice mills in the state which can make variety of rice products.
- There are also significant opportunities in utilization of by products for making starch, bran oil etc.
- The large paddy production also offers opportunities for setting up husk based power generation in the state.
- The state produced about 3106 KGS/HA of maize in the year 2011-12.
- Winter (Rabi) maize is cultivated mainly in Bihar with a production of 0.74 million MT, about 40% of the total production. This gives unique position to the state in national maize market with most of maize processing units in north India depending highly on maize from the state for a significant period of time.
- Major maize producing districts are Khagaria, Madhepura, Begusarai, Saharsa and Katihar.
- The level of processing in the state is presently quite insignificant. There is thus a large opportunity for maize processing Units which can be set up for making a range of products like starch, corn oil, corn flakes, corn flour, poultry feed etc.
- Recently Bihar holds the highest position in vegetable production in India. In 2011-12, the total area under vegetable production has reached up to 8.53 Lacs Hectares which is about 12 percent of gross sown area.
- Bihar is the largest producer of Okra in the country, second largest producer of Cabbage, third largest producer of Potato, Brinjal, Cauliflower and Onion.
- Taking into account the figures for the year 2011-12, the important vegetable crops include potato (61.01 Lacs MT), onion (12.37 Lacs MT), tomato (11.04 Lacs MT), cauliflower (11.55 Lacs MT) and brinjal (12.71 Lacs MT).
- Vegetables produced in the state feeds far off places including Delhi and Kolkata also apart from the huge local markets.
- While production of vegetables is well dispersed over the districts, major vegetable growing districts of the state are Patna, Nalanda, Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, W. Champaran, E. Champaran etc.
- Growth of organized retail market in fresh fruits and vegetables offers significant opportunities for processing and value packaging facilities in vegetable production centers in the state.
Mango, guava, litchi and banana are the major fruit crops of Bihar. In 2011-12, the total area under fruit crops was 2.97 Lacs Ha which is 5.34 percent of the net cultivated area.
The production levels of major fruits in 2011-12 were mango (12.41 Lacs MT), guava (2.45 Lacs MT), litchi (2.36 Lacs MT) and banana (15.80 Lacs MT). Bihar is the largest producer of litchi, third largest of pineapple and fourth largest of mango in India.
Major fruit growing districts in the state are Darbhanga and Samastipur for mango, Rohtas and Bhojpur for guava Muzaffarpur and Sitamadhi for litchi and Bhagalpur and Vaishali (Hajipur) for banana.
- At around 2 Lacs MT of production, Bihar accounts for almost 75 % of national production of this delicious fruit.
- Most sought after produce of the state in both national and international market, Lithci offers an unparalleled range of processing opportunities.
- This highly perishable fruit requires a specific climate and soil condition, found in the area around Muzaffarpur district which remains focal point of litchi production in the country.
- The Brand “Muzaffarpur Litchi” commands a special respect in the fresh as well as processed fruit segments.
- Limited period of harvesting season and high perishability of litchi makes it imperative for all litchi processors to have their facilities near to production centres in the state which are also well connected to major markets over the years. Litchi is amenable to processing of various levels and entrepreneurs may choose to set up Units for Pulp, juice, nectar, beverage, jam, jelly, pulp slabs, etc.
Banana Ripening and Processing
- Around 10 Lacs MT of Banana produced over 28 thousand Ha of land.
- Two major production clusters, around Bhagalpur and Vaishali, account for almost 50 % of state production. With hub at Naugachia, Bhagalpur region produces more than 2 Lac MT of Hari Chaal and Robusta varieties. The second cluster around Vaishali region produces more than 2.5 Lacs MT of Muthia and Chinia varieties.
- Banana offers significant opportunities for both fresh and processed food market. There are opportunities of setting up modern ripening chambers for catering to premium national and international market. There may also be scope for processing units for making Pulp, baby food, banana fibre, packing material, banana flower vegetables (Ready to eat), banana trunk vegetables & pickles.
- Processed Banana is picking up fast with the South Indian market. New markets are emerging in the gulf countries and Middle East.
- In terms of diversification, Banana Fiber (trunk and leaves) has a scope as well as a good market as one of the diversified textile fibres. Naugachia, being a district in the near vicinity of Bhagalpur (textile hub of Bihar) has an added advantage for setting up fibre extraction and yarning units, over and above food processing.
- Mango is the leading fruit crop of Bihar with an approximate share of 50 per cent of the total area under fruit crops.
- It is grown in over 100,000 hectares of land; the state has an annual production of 1.5 million MT.
- Bihar is the fourth largest producer of mangoes in the country, accounting for nearly 11 per cent of the total production.
- The state is known for a large variety of mangoes grown in its plains, the most popular being Maldah, Bombay, Jardalu, Jarda, Safeda, Sepia, Sukul and Gulabkhas. The leading mango-producing districts include Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, East and West Champaran and Bhagalpur.
- The Planning Commission has identified the district of Darbhanga for systematic development of the fruit crop for its total commercial exploitation.
- Gorgon nut or fox nut, commonly known as makhana is a high value commodity. Bihar is the only state producing makhana (gorgon nut) commercially. An almost exclusive offering from the state, having more than 90% production of the nut in the country, this highly nutritious crop is traditionally used in roasted form as snack and for kheer making.
- Annual production of Makhana pop is estimated at around 96,000 tonnes, with major producing districts being Darbhanga, Madhubani, Purnea and Katihar.
- As Makhana is now increasingly accepted as a health food all over the country, it offers significant opportunities for value addition through limited investment in primary processing and packaging facilities.
- Further research and development efforts for this product also give hopes for variety of processed Makhana products. Growing popularity, unique positioning and being a product adored by masses as well as classes proves its potential to become a major attraction in the processed food segment.
- The total milk procured during 2011-12 was 1075 thousand kgs. per day, which works out to 122 kgs. per functional dairy cooperative society per day.
- Only about 10 percent of the milk production is processed by COMFED (Sudha Dairy) at 11 places in Barauni, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Patna, Gaya, Ara, Bhagalpur and Kaimur and another 2-3 percent in the private sector.
- A huge untapped market for milk, ghee, butter, lassi, curd, paneer, Ice Cream, Gulabjamun, Rasogulla Kalakand etc. exists in the state on a perennial basis. The same is also an ever growing one.
- As estimated in the vision document, the market size for the milk and milk products in Bihar by 2015 would be at a whopping Rs. 9977 Crore.
- Bihar is one of the leading honey producing states in India, accounting for almost half of the country’s total production of 8400 MT.
- The main districts involved in beekeeping are – Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sitamarhi, East Champaran, West Champaran, Madhepura, Katihar and Begusarai.
- The litchi honey is produced on commercial scale, sold at prices at par with some of the premium honey in the world market, because of its uniqueness.
- The yield of honey with the Italian honeybee species is the highest in Bihar compared to other states, with a production rate of 40 and 60 kgs honey/hive/year, for stationary and migratory beekeeping respectively.
- There is no large processing unit of honey within the state. However, there are a handful of medium and small processing units in the organized sector, with most remaining in the unorganized sector.
- In view of substantial area under various crops, each suitable for bee keeping, Bihar has the potential of producing about 40,000 tonnes of honey with an estimated value of Rs. 200 Crores annually.
Around 25,000 acres of land are covered under tea plantation, mostly in Kishanganj and the rest in Purnea, Katihar and Araria districts. Tea plantation in Kishanganj district, provides employment to about 15,000 workers. The district has been declared as a non-traditional area under a Tea Board scheme, and enjoys subsidies/incentives. There are two processing units in the district, which produces green leaf tea that is ultimately converted to around 2,300 tonnes of processed tea.
The annual production of tea is over 4 million kgs.
Lochan Tea Ltd: Lochan Tea Ltd began operations at its Doke plantation in Kishanganj in 1997. The plantation is a testing ground for planting and raising organic tulsi leaves and tea. Situated on the banks of the Doke, the organic farm is located between Pothia and Thakurgunj towns in the district.
Download – Food Processing Schemes Food Processing Related Research Centres/Institutions Project Management Agency (PMA)