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Pailan potato flakes unit launched

Niladri Bhattacharya  |  Kolkata/ Dhaniakhali 

The is slowly but steadily gathering momentum, with West Bengal Chief Minister unveiling a Rs 50 crore potato flakes plant and laying the foundation stone of a meat processing unit of the here, just a few kilometres north of the
The state was planning a food park nearby, with focus on potato and meat.
would anchor the food park.
Bhattacharjee said several were keen to develop processing units in the district as the state produced surplus potato almost every year.
Bengal consumed about 45 lakh tons while annual crop was 80 lakh tons.
The potato plant, built on 65 acres, had a capacity of 3600 tons per annum.
The project, with EOU-SEZ status, used machinery imported from The Netherlands and would employ 1500 people. Potato would be purchased directly from farmers' self help groups.
The Rs 34 crore meat processing unit would be on the same premises and employ 500 more.
Apurba Saha, chairman of Pailan, he was keen to build the food park.
Land surrounding the plant was available for acquisition, he claimed.
No environmental problem would be created by the the meat processing unit as top-end technology from USA was being used.
Union Minister of State for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahai used the platform to appease the Left leader.
"We need leaders like Buddhadeb who talks about farmers and technology in agriculture. West Bengal is the only state in the eastern region to have a food processing department and the success of this state would show the way to states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh," Sahai said. In the coming plan period, budget would not be a problem for states keen to develop the processing sector, said Sahai.
In the 11th Five Year Plan period, the Centre would give a grants of Rs 50 crore for the food park , Rs 10 crore for development of integrated cold storage chains and Rs 15 crore for meat processing units.
Sahai said the ministry aimed to promote food processing clusters while the post-harvest sector would be developed to maximize employment and benefit to farmers.

First Published: Mon, October 08 2007. 00:00 IST