The Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries is unlikely to sanction new mega food parks as it has achieved the target of establishing 42 such parks in the country.
“The target was to establish 42 mega food parks. We have sanctioned all food parks. Out of them, 12 are operational and 30 are under implementation. During the current year we hope to make others (parks) operational as well”, Gargi Kaul, additional secretary at the ministry said at a National Seminar on 'Agri-Food Processing Connect through Prime Minister Kisan Sampada Yojana' in Cuttack.
"As of now, we do not have the freedom to sanction any more mega food parks because we have reached the target of 42. However, there are some parks where land has been an issue. We may cancel those parks if they do not come up. We will bid them after cancelling", she added.
It may be noted that Sampada (Scheme For Agro-Marine Processing And Development Of Agro-Processing Clusters) is an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing schemes like mega food parks, integrated cold chain and value addition infrastructure, food safety and quality assurance infrastructure and also new schemes like infrastructure for agro-processing clusters, creation of backward and forward linkages, creation and expansion of food processing and preservation capacities.
Sampada with an allocation of Rs 60 billion is expected to leverage the investment of Rs 314 billion, handling of 33.4 million tonnes agro-produce valuing Rs 1041.25 billion, benefitting 2 million farmers and generating 5,30,500 direct and indirect employment in the country by the year 2019-20.
In Odisha, the union government has sanctioned two mega food parks. While the one is operational at Rayagda district in the name and style of MITS Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd, the other park, which is developed by state-run Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco), is under implementation.
The government of India provides financial assistance up to Rs 0.5 billion per Mega Food Park project.
Speaking on the occasion, Sarat Kumar Sahoo, chairman of OIF, rued that there are no fresh applications made for new projects from the entrepreneurs of the state under the Sampada scheme.