Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj virtually inaugurated Mega Food Park (MFP) at Phagwara in Kapurthala district of Punjab. Shri Tomar said that Punjab and Haryana have a significant role in the development of the agriculture sector of India. He added that due to untiring efforts of farmers of these two states, India is not only self-reliant in food grains but is food surplus. He said that Punjab has been ahead in the production of rice and wheat, however, due to reduced groundwater levels, diversification of crops is required for which Punjab farmers have taken several steps. He said that the food processing sector needs to be focussed upon so that farmers get fair prices and related sectors can also benefit.
This Mega Food Park is built at a project cost of Rs 107.83 crores and spread over 55 acres of land. It is expected to benefit about 25000 farmers and likely to generate employment of about 5000 persons. It is equipped with Raw Material/Finished goods Warehouses (3944Sqm), Silos (20000 MT), Cold Storage (3000 MT), IQF & Deep Freezer (IQF: 2 MT/hr + Deep Freezer: 2000 MT) & other related food processing facilities.
Shri Tomar said that the Government is continuously working for the welfare of farmers under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He added that MSP of crops has been increased and the Government has started a scheme to create 10,000 new FPOs. Farmers are being given subsidy and Government is focussing on the welfare of small farmers. A 10,000 crore fund has been created under Aatmanirbhar Bharat, for development of food processing sector which will benefit farmers and create employment opportunities. Till date, 37 MFPs have been sanctioned and 20 have already started functioning.
Shri Tomar highlighted that research has a huge role to play in the agriculture sector and ICAR has been doing great research which is benefitting the country. He asked Punjab Government to send proposals related to research and assured that the Union Government would consider those proposals with all seriousness. Shri Tomar said that Sukhjit Mega Food Park would prove to be a milestone in the progress of the food processing sector.
Shri Rameswar Teli, MoS, FPI said that latest technology and processing facilities will reduce wastage of food products and ensure fair prices for farmers.