Unable to compete with large companies having access to newer machine technology, about 54 mango pulping factories have shut down in Krishnagiri.
Of the 74 mango pulping concerns in Krishnagiri, the majority use manual cutting procedures, and only 20 factories employ the newer technology.
“Only 20 mango manufacturing companies have new technology. These machines require an investment of Rs 15 crores. Small scale mango manufacturing companies do not have this much money to invest on machines,” said K Rama Gounder, State District Secretary, Tamilaga Vyavasaya Sangam.
Using these new machines, these bigger companies earn profits of more than 30% annually, said Rama. “But for small scale industries, the profit is much lesser. Also, for export, companies in other countries only take mangoes from companies which have these new machines. These small industries usually export only with the help of big companies, under their brand, and they are not able to get much profit from it,” he said.
The smaller factories, he said, are usually run by 20 or 30 farmers who invest Rs 1-2 lakh and do not possess the financial resources for such large investments. These farmers do not even have the funds needed to return the loans that they have taken for setting up these factories. “They would have invested money and begun the business about four years ago, and now these industries with new machines have come up. What will they do?” he asked.
Asked about government subsidies, he says, “The government had given about Rs 30 lakh for 20 companies when they started. The state government is not doing anything more about it. About eight years back, an international company called Chrisma Mango Pulp Export Limited came ahead for exporting mangoes from Tamil Nadu but the government did not do anything about it.”
The small-scale manufacturers are now demanding that the government provide a production subsidy of Rs 10 crore per factory to begin manufacturing again. “We are going to hold protests for this issue and ask for government’s help in this crisis,” Rama said.