Milestone for food processing industry, boon for farmers in the State
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, May 28: To give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value, as well as reducing food wastage and loss at each stage of the supply chain with particular focus on perishables, the Centre today launched a Mega Food Park at lbari.
Under the scheme, conceptualized in 2008, fincial assistance upto Rs 50 crore is provided for setting up mega food parks for creation of modern infrastructural facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to consumer. A mega food park is set up in an area of a minimum 50 acres. Common facilities and ebling infrastructure is created at the Central Processing Centre while infrastructure for primary processing and storage is created near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) and Collection Centres (CCs).
The Central Processing Centre of the Park at Tihu in lbari district has been completed and was iugurated by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal. Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju also attended the occasion.
The North East Mega Food Park has been set up in 50 acre land at the cost of Rs 76 crore. This project has facilities of fully operatiol industrial sheds for small and medium enterprises (SME)s, developed industrial plots for lease to food processing units, Dry Warehouse of 10,000 MT, Cold Storage of 3,000 MT, Common Effluent Treatment plant, Quality Control Labs etc. The Park also has a common administrative building for office and other uses by the entrepreneurs. Six PPCs are also proposed to be set up at gaon, Badarpur, Tinsukia, Barapani, Krishi and Kajalgaon, which will provide facilities for primary processing and storage near the farms.
Speaking on the occasion, Badal said that the Mega Food Park will leverage an additiol investment of about Rs. 250 crore in 30-35 food processing units in the Park and generate a turnover of about Rs. 450-500 crore annually. The Park will also provide direct and indirect employment to 6,000 people and benefit about 25,000-30,000 farmers in the CPC and PPC catchment areas.
Badal said that the modern infrastructure for food processing created at North East Mega Food Park will benefit the farmers, growers, processors and consumers of Assam and adjoining areas immensely, and prove to be a big boost to the growth of the food processing sector in the State.
Chief Minister Gogoi said the Mega Food Park would take care of the farmers under-one roof collection and protect them from exploitation at the hands of middlemen. Underlining the importance of value-addition to the foodstuff that the villagers of Assam produce, Gogoi said the Food Park will give a new dimension to food processing industries by reducing wastages and ensuring value-addition, thereby contributing to the development of villages in the State.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that the Mega Food Park will go a long way in helping farmers of the Northeast. He said the NE region has great potential for food processing and the Central government has taken many steps to promote the food processing sector as well as organic farming in the region.