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Monday, October 25, 2021
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Consistent, Quicker and Efficient Supply Chains for Supply of Farm Produce for Food Processing

NEW DEHI: India is the third largest food producer in the world yet barely 2.2% of fruits and vegetables are processed. Under the visionary guidance of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Ministry of Food Processing Industries is focusing on boosting the Food Processing Sector so that agriculture sector grows exponentially. To make Food Processing the engine of growth is the motto of Ministry of Food Processing Industries. This was stated by  Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries here today in an interaction with the media.

Addressing a press conference to highlight the one year’s achievements of Ministry of Food Processing Industries , Harsimrat Kaur Badal stated that to address the challenges of insufficient infrastructure leading to huge wastage, undue advantage to middlemen at the cost of farmers remuneration, the government’s focus is on compressing supply chains and to make them consistent, quicker and efficient for supply of farm produce for food processing. The Government also focuses on creating a Cold Chain Infrastructure to link the farmer to the consumer seamlessly and creating a Cold Chain Grid in the entire country. The Ministry has identified creation of modern infrastructure for food processing as a focus area and encouraging private investment. Sanctioning of 17 new Mega Food Parks and 30 Cold Chain projects will attract total investment of about Rs. 3077 crore in the creation of infrastructure in food processing sector.
Badal further informed that the scheme of Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure provides financial assistance up to Rs. 10 crore for entrepreneurs. A total of 138 integrated Cold Chain projects were approved by the Government, out of which 108 projects are under the implementation by the Ministry. Of these, 52 projects have already achieved completion and commenced commercial operation. The capacity created by these 52 projects is 2.16 lakh MT of cold storage/CA/Deep Freezer, 80.3 lakh litres per day of milk processing, 38.5 MT/Hour of Individual Quick Freeze and 271 of Reefer Transport. It is expected that operationalization of 108 projects would create capacity of (a) 3.64 lakh MT of Cold Storage, Controlled Atmosphere (CA)/Modified Atmosphere (MA) Storage, Deep Freezer (b) 90 MT per hour of individual Quick Freezing (IQF) (c) 106.95 lakh litres per day of milk processing and storage and (d) 601 number of reefer carriers.

The Union Minister of Food Processing Industries informed that sanction has been accorded to 30 new Cold Chain proposals for implementation. Total expected grant-in-aid to be released to these 30 project is Rs. 274.9 crore which would attract an investment of Rs. 470 crore. Total Cold Chain infrastructure capacity to be created by these is (a) 1.12 Lakh MT of Cold Storage/CA/MA Store (b) 11.10 Lakh Litres per Day of Milk Processing (c) 28.5 MT/Hour of IQF (d) 1434 MT/Day of Ripening Chamber and (e) 209 Reefer Vehicles.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal also informed that to boost the creation of Infrastructure for Food Processing, the Ministry has, in the last one year, inaugurated two Mega Food Parks – one in Karnataka and another in Fazilka in Punjab. Three more Mega Food Parks are to be inaugurated shortly in West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Assam. Government has announced 17 new Mega Food Parks in last one year. It has also completed 14 Cold Chain projects and 30 new Cold Chain projects are being announced.

The Minister informed that the Government has also set up a Fund of Rs. 2000 crores under NABARD for extending affordable credit to entrepreneurs for designated food parks and for setting up of food processing units in the designated food parks. The Government has classified loans to food and agro based processing units and cold chains under agriculture activities for Priority Sector Lending (PSL). The Ministry is working with the industry for imparting industry relevant skill training including development of course content in identified sectors of food processing. The investor-friendly Investor’s Portal has all the required information available online.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal expressed confidence that these steps of the Government will create modern infrastructure for arresting post-harvest losses of horti and non-horti produces and provide impetus to the growth of this sector. The timely completion of these Integrated Cold Chain and Mega Food Park projects will not only provide a big boost to the growth of food processing infrastructure in the concerned states but also help in providing better price to famers, reduce wastage of perishables, add value to the agricultural produce and create huge employment opportunities especially in rural areas. These will lead to the stabilization of food products prices and contain inflation in the country.