Mega Food Parks to be processing hubs across India
The Dollar Business Bureau The Union Ministry of Food Processing, Government of India, on Tuesday announced initiatives towards development of food processing activities and better management of food products in India. In this regard, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the Union Minister of Food Processing, informed about the government’s steps towards establishment of one Mega Food Park (MFP) in every State across the country. Speaking at the inaugural event of 30th AAHAR International Food and Hospitality Fair organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), Badal referred to the MFP initiative as a flagship program of her Ministry and said the MFPs shall become a hubs for food processing activities across all the States. Stating that there was a huge potential for value addition for farmers through food processing, the Minister said that the MFPs will help in better management of food wastages and will also facilitate better prices for consumers. While noting that India was a leading producer of milk and the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, the Minister also raised concerns over the current level of fruits and vegetable processing in the country. Mentioning that the current processing level of fruits and vegetables in India stands very low at 2%, the Union Minister exuded confidence saying ‘there is a larger scope and a greater potential for increasing the same’. Meanwhile, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, also informed that a total 42 MFPs have already been sanctioned by the government for setting-up across the country, out of which, 21 MFPs are at various stages of implementation, while four MFPs are progressing towards meeting the conditions for final approval. On an average, each project will have around 30-35 processing units at a total investment of Rs 250 crore, which was expected to result in an annual turnover of about Rs 450-500 crore and creation of direct & indirect employment to the extent of about 30,000 persons, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti added. Earlier, Marek Sawicki, Agriculture Minister of Poland, also said that his Government was in the process of launching promotional campaigns in India, aimed at supplying food processed in Poland to the Indian consumers. Prior to this in February 2015, the Union Agricultural Minister Radha Mohan Singh had also asked the Lebanese delegation led by Lebanon Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb, to consider setting up of MFPs and Cold chains in India to ensure better supply chain. He further called for the exchange of modern processing techniques of fruits and vegetables, new packing techniques of food products between India and Lebanon.
This article was published on March 10, 2015.