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ICC, MoFPI promote Mega Food Parks

Posted on Nov 11, 11:53AM | IBNS

Industry bodies along with the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) on Friday invited private investments on Mega Food Parks.

Union Secretary of MoFPI Rakesh Kacker and Joint Secretary of MoFPI J.P. Meena were also present at an Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) organised seminar on investing in mega food parks.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman, Agri Business Initiative, ICC, M.K Jalan informed, "Mega Food Park is a centralized facility to bring down the cost of agricultural processing. We have to satisfy farmers as well as consumers and being an entrepreneur, we have to lend aggressive support to the Government."

Food processing sector, being critical for achieving growth in agricultural sector along with its own growth, that is essential to meet the twin national objectives of "inclusive growth" and "food security", has become one of the potential area of investments for setting up Mega Food Parks.

"There has been tremendous growth in various crops in India, with us being the second in the world in context of fruits and vegetables. But unfortunately a lot of vegetables are wasted due to lack of infrastructure and preservation facilities. Around 5-18pc in fruits and vegetables go wasted, incurring a total loss of Rs.45,000 crore to Rs.50,000 crore," informed Meena.

The Government is providing incentives based on the Industrial Park Model Scheme to promote private investments in the sector to set up a common infrastructure to act as the feeder point for processing units to be set up in the periphery area, apprised officials.

"About 30 projects (25-30 processing units) are being sanctioned already in 3 phases with investments of over Rs.7,000 crore and 17 more projects are in pipeline, leading to about 350-400 more units, that coming up. We have 3 successfully running Food Parks at Assam, West Bengal and Tripura along with the Park at Orissa which is catching up fast," added Meena.

Highlighting on the Mega Food Park Scheme (MFPs), the Union Secretary apprised," MFPs are set to provide state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities to enable the setting up of food processing units, expected to facilitate the achievement of Vision 2015' of the Ministry, to raise the processing of perishables from existing 6pc to 20pc , taking the country's share in global food trade from 1.5pc to 3pc , along with acceleration of growth of food processing industry in the country."

"We want individual projects to come forward and be used to build infrastructure like factory buildings for Primary Packaging Centers, field Collection Centers and Central Processing Centers, cold storage, roads, drainage, water supply, electric supply, admin buildings, training centers, workers hostels, etc. with 35pc investment for eligible project cost and cost of non-core facilities not exceeding 10pc of the eligible project cost," added Kacker.

The project also includes the provision for Standard Design Factory and Plug and Play facilities for Micro and Small Enterprises, while the project should be implemented through a corporate body called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

Mega Food Park also allows 100pc FDI with 50pc of eligible cost assistance from the Ministry in case of general areas and 75pc in case of difficult areas.

Added Kacker,"We have also launched the National Mission on Food Processing on 1st April, 2012, and have disseminated the scheme to State Governments to work in cooperation. We have invested Rs.250 crore in the scheme for technology upgradation, skill or human resource development, scheme for modernization of Abattoirs and cold chain projects for non-horticulture products."

Speaking on food standard, he said," Food Standard and Safety Act is already in operation but we want voluntary certificates on food standard scheme to be operational whose certification will be in parallel with the mandatory certification for robust action in the field."