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Business Opportunities In Punjab

The recent liberalization of the country's economy has pitch-forked Punjab into the mainstream of global business. Punjab's inherent strengths and efforts to attract private investment make it a land of opportunities. Its rich agricultural base has the potential to add significant value to the food processing sector. Commercial agriculture can also assist the state leverage its competitive advantage in the sector.

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Similarly, the existing industrial base of the state can be encouraged to go in for forward integration in a variety of sectors such as textiles, light engineering goods, IT, chemicals and biotechnology.

Agro Processing

Punjab is the second largest producer of wheat contributing 21.5 per cent to the total production in the country. In 2002-03, Punjab produced 14.5 million tonnes of wheat. It is also the fourth largest producer of rice in the country, contributing 9 per cent to the total production. In 2002-03, Punjab produced 8 million tonnes of rice.


The annual production of food products in Punjab stood at US$ 1.95 billion in 2001-02. Between 1990-91 and 2001 -02, the same increased by over 300 per cent. Punjab's share in India's output of food products stands at 3 per cent. The statistics clearly indicate a potential for further developing the state's agro processing industry.


The Government of Punjab has introduced policies to modernize agriculture infrastructure in the state and promote agro-based industries. An outlay of US$ 4.4 million has been assigned to improve agriculture infrastructure and set up a cold chain infrastructure.

Source: Annual Survey of Industries, 2002-03

Recently the Government permitted contract farming on 20,000 hectares for basmati rice and 80,000 hectares for wheat. This includes agreements with private sector companies like the Tata Group and the UB Group for contract farming of basmati rice and barley respectively.


Prominent players present in the agro processing industry in Punjab are Pepsi Foods and Nestle. Germany-based Metro Cash and Carry International have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation for identifying and sourcing food products from the state.


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