The Centre on Tuesday sanctioned setting up of 17 new mega food parks to different state agencies and private entities. These parks are expected to attract investment of over `6,000 crore. While six of these parks will be set up by different state agencies, 11 will be set up by 11 different private companies including Adani Ports SEZ, Jain Agro Trading Company, Continental Warehousing Corporation and 3F Industries. It is expected that these 17 parks, when fully functional, will create employment for around 80,000 persons and benefit about 5 lakh farmers directly and indirectly. These parks were allotted after processing 72 applications. Basic infrastructure in these food parks is expected to be set up within 30 months. Setting up of mega food parks is being considered as the first big step in the `Make in India’ scheme to promote domestic industry and create jobs.These food parks plan to link agricultural production with the market by bringing together farmers, processors and retailers to maximize value addition, minimize wastage and increase farmers’ income. These parks are also expected to help in stabilizing prices of food products and containing inflation. Under mega food parks scheme, launched in 2008, 25 other parks are currently at different stages of development in the country. A mega food park located in an area of a minimum of 50 acres, works in a cluster-based approach. “These 17 newly selected mega food parks are likely to at tract investment of around `2,000 crore in modern infrastructure, additional collective investment of around `4,000 crore in 500 food processing units and generate annual turnover of `8,000 crore,“ said a government official. It said, “Timely completion of these parks will provide a big boost to the growth of the food processing sector in the concerned state, help in providing better price to farmers, reduce wastage of perishables and create huge employment opportunities especially in rural areas“. (Source: The Times of India, Mumbai, March 25, 2015)
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