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Harsimrat Badal announces setting up of 17 mega food parks

Punjab Agro and Sukhjit Starch to establish food parks in State

NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today announced allocation of 17 mega food parks, entailing a total investment of Rs 2,100 crore, to various states and private ventures including two parks for Punjab.

Mrs Badal announced sanctioning of these 17 mega food parks for Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar. These parks need to be set up within 30 months.

Punjab Agro Industries Corporation would set up a multi product mega food park on 100 acres of land at Ladhowal Farm, Ludhiana at a cost of Rs.140.5 core for which land has been allotted by State Government. Sukhjit starch would establish its park at Rehana Jattan, Phagwara costing Rs. 120 crore.

These projects are expected to attract an investment of over Rs. 6,000 crore and have the potential to provide employment to around 80,000 people. These projects are expected to benefit over 50,000 farmers. She added the ministry had sanctioned 42 projects out of which 25 parks have already been allocated.

She informed that the ministry has till date sanctioned 112 integrated cold chain projects with a grant of Rs. 935 crore and private investment of Rs  1800 crore. Out of these, 48 cold chain projects have already been completed.

Mega-Food-ParksUnion Minister said in order to provide impetus to the food processing industries, excise duty on food processing and packaging machinery reduced from 10% to 6%. A special fund of Rs. 2000 crore has been set up in National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to provide affordable credit to the food processing units to be setup in designated food parks. Besides, a food map of India identifying surplus raw material has been prepared and uploaded on the Ministry website.

Mrs Badal said States have been asked to put forth proposals for sanctioning of new food parks. “It would be ensured that at least one mega food park is established in every state”, she added.

Mrs Badal stressed that food processing units would augment income of farmers, generate employment, facilitate provisioning of clean and hygienic food at affordable rates besides plugging post harvest wastage.

The Mega Food Park Scheme, based on cluster approach, is aimed at facilitating the establishment of strong food processing industry backed by an efficient supply chain, which includes collection centres, central processing center (CPC) and cold chain infrastructure. These parks would provide various facilities to food processors, farmers, retailers and exporters, helping achieve faster growth of food processing industries.

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