New Delhi: A number of schemes have been approved for strengthening food processing infrastructure in the country and government has entered into Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) mode with private entities for setting up 10 food parks.
“We have approved a scheme of mega food parks, cold chains, value-added centres and modernisation of abattoirs. The mega food park scheme envisages a well defined agriculture and horticulture-processing zone containing state of the art processing facilities,” food processing minister Subodh Kant Sahai informed Rajya Sabha.
The idea is to bring together farmers, processors and retailers and link agricultural production to the market to as to ensure maximisation of value addition, minimisation of wastages and improving farmers’ income, he said during Question Hour.
He said because of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act in states, farmers were not able to reap in the benefits of contract and cooperative farming.
Sahai said his ministry has repeatedly been asking states to develop their own food processing industry policy.
“Till states make policy changes, things cannot improve. States need to focus more on this industry, while southern states have done well in promoting it, the northern states need to focus more,” he said.
Sahai pointed out that the food processing sector witnessed 74% growth during the previous financial year despite recession.