Minister of Food Processing Industries Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal informed that the ministry had invited proposals from the potential investors to setup six mega food parks in the country by September 15.
NEW DELHI: With an aim to add value to their produce and preserve food items, the Central government will establish 42 mega food parks with cluster-based approach in a phased manner.
Unleashing her ministry’s priority of Mega Food Parks, Minister of Food Processing Industries Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal informed that the ministry had invited proposals from the potential investors to setup six mega food parks in the country by September 15 and priority will be accorded to the uncovered states. She said under the reformulated mega food parks scheme, the Union government had already approved 42 such parks under the 11th and 12th plan.The minister informed that the main objective of this scheme was to provide modern infrastructure facilities for the food processing along the value chain from the farm to the market which would include creation of processing infrastructure near the farm, transportation, logistics and centralised processing centers.
It will also help to prevent wastage and damage, especially of perishable items.
Elaborating further Harsimrat Badal said smaller “food parks” would also be setup under the ‘SAMPADA’ scheme in the country, having cold storage facilities thereby help in preservation of food items on a larger scale.Moving toward ‘zero wastage’, she informed that in the past two years ministry had created infrastructure capacity worth Rs 9,000 crore to process 32 lakh tonnes of perishable fruits and vegetables and reduce wastage by 10 per cent a year.
She emphasized that there is a huge scope for processing of fruits and vegetables as only two per cent of perishable horticultural produce are being processed despite the fact that the food processing industry accounts for about 32 per cent of India’s total food market.The minister said on an average, each mega food project would have around 30-35 medium food processing units with a collective investment of around Rs 250 crore and that would eventually lead to an annual turnover of about Rs 450-500 crore and creation of direct employment of 2,500 persons and indirect employment of about 30,000 people.