Indianexpress.com explains how an initiative of these proportions, however, has its challenges.
The first is size: India’s production of potatoes in 2016-17 was estimated at 48.61 million tonnes, with 22.43 mt for onions and 20.71 mt for tomatoes.The second is range: There are so many varieties of the above produce, grown in different climatic conditions and in different seasons, making marketing intervention all that more complex.
The third is technology: In horticultural produce, viable technology options for long-term storage, transport, and processing are still being developed or fine-tuned. The energy intensity of available technologies, especially with rising fuel prices, poses additional challenges.
The fourth is markets: the ready market seamlessly connecting producers to consumers for TOP – whether processed or otherwise – is, at present, very small in relation to total production. This market has to be developed through a viable business model. Such development, going by the author’s personal experience in marketing dehydrated onions, is both time and cost consuming.
The fifth is institutional: there does not seem to be any institution today that can implement Operation Greens similar to what the National Dairy Development Board for milk did in Operation Flood. Should a complete new institution be set up?
The sixth is funding: The budget provides ₹ 50 million (€ 620.000) for Operation Greens. The question is: How is this money going to be spent? The Finance Minister’s speech suggests that Operation Greens would promote farmer producers organisations/companies, agri-logistics and processing facilities. But then there’s the risk of spreading resources too thinly across components and states, rather than having a focused mission scaleable over space and time.