There are over 200 firms in Karnal that process basmati and non-basmati rice grains. The industry employs over 10,000 people, and has a collective annual turnover of around Rs. 120 crore.
“The industrialists are not aware of the modern techniques that can be used to improve the quality and quantity of products. The major reason for the lack of interest among the processors in quality cultivation, processing and yield of the crop is that many of them work the land on a contractual basis,” stated Harmeen Saini, an industrialist.
“The major reason for the industry suffering losses is the lack of upgradation of technology. The industrialists still use harvesting combines of old designs, which not only lead to cracks in the rice grains, but also affects the yield, ” he said.
The Secretary of the Rice Millers Association in Karnal, RC Verma, stated that the industry suffered losses of over 20% in the past one year.
“Most of us have not standardised our products and procedures. Even the state government has failed to provide us basic facilities like regular power supply, ” said Nirmal Kumar, a manufacturer.
“The state government, besides providing basic facilities to the industrialists, should also create awareness among them about new technology. Most of the industrialists are not well-educated, so the state government should convince them of the benefits of adopting modern technology,” he said.