The Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley on 18 July 2014 announced to provide a sum of 200 crore rupees to NABARD for setting up of mega food parks. This will help promote food processing industry in the country.
Among the total variety of food produced in India, only 2 percent is processed. Food processing leads to development of a country and Mega food Park is a scheme which can create synergy between Agriculture and Industry- two most important pillars of Indian economy.
About the Mega Food Park Scheme
• Mega Food Park Scheme is primarily a flagship program initiated by the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
• The main objective of the scheme is to establish the integrated value chain by keeping processing at the focal point. The aim of the scheme is to receive support by forward as well as backward linkage.
• The scheme aims at creation of infrastructure for the primary processing centers as well as the cold chains at farm level in certain identified regions.
• The Mega Food Parks are aimed at providing care for the processing activities, requiring latest technology as well as offering basic infrastructure like power, water supply and environment protection.
It is envisioned that the scheme requires only one-time capital grant of 50 percent of the overall project cost of 50 crore rupees in the general areas and 75 percent of the total cost in hilly and difficult areas of Uttarakhand, North Eartern regions, J&K, HP and Sikkim along with the ITDP notified areas of the States.
How does a Mega Food Park help in India’s development?
A Mega Food Park can be utilized for meeting the export of foods and vegetables to European and West Asian countries. The Mega Food Park scheme opens investment opportunities also. Apart from the cultivation of foods, the Food Processing Units in the Mega Food Park are also used for processing of fruits and vegetables, IQF Frozen Foods, pulp, puree and concentrate preparation as well as candies processing.
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