Kerala government has drawn up an ambitious programme to set up agro-parks across the state to promote value-added products with an investment of Rs 500 crore. The parks, to be built in all 14 districts, would focus on value-added items based on various agricultural products including coconut, rice, rubber, honey, banana and spices, Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar told reporters today. The Agriculture Department would organise a two-day national workshop at Kanakakkunnu Palace here from December 1 to formulate a policy on value addition and processing in the farming sector, he said. "Kerala is far behind in terms of manufacturing of value-added products.
The proposed agro-parks are envisaged as facility centres with international standard for manufacturing and packing," he said. The parks would help find an international market for the state's indigenous value-added agro products, he said. "The government has earmarked Rs 500 crore in 2016-17 budget for the proposed agriculture parks. The fund would be raised through the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board," he said. Stating that the first such park would come into existence in one year, the minister said the park, dedicated for coconut products, would be set up in Kozhikode, while a rice park would come up in either Ernakulam or Alappuzha district. As part of the workshop, a five-day exhibition of value added products and machines would also be held here from December 1, he added.
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