In a major boost to the food processing sector in Odisha, the state government has announced a financial assistance of up to 20 per cent of the project cost for mega food parks and seafood parks.
The promised assistance would exclude the land cost and is capped at Rs 150 million. The sops would be provided to special purpose vehicles (SPVs) and implementing agencies approved by the Centre under the Mega Food Park scheme.
However, the assistance from all sources for a particular project would not exceed 75 per cent of the project cost.
In a notification of the state MSME (micro, small & medium enterprises) department, the financial benefit would be applicable retrospectively from November 2016 in line with the promise made in the Odisha Food Processing Policy, 2016.
The move has come just before the second edition of Make-In-Odisha conclave beginning November 11.
The Odisha government has set a target to attract an investment of Rs 198 billion in food processing by 2025 with a potential to generate about 0.8 million indirect and direct jobs.
Prior to the first edition Make In Odisha conclave in 2016, the state government had rolled out Odisha Food Processing Policy, 2016 to provide renewed impetus to the sector.
The Odisha Food Processing Policy, 2016 aims to increase the flow of investments in the sector across the value chain from farm to market, increase shelf life and reduce wastage of farm produce.
The policy provides fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, infrastructure development, skill development and cluster approach for the development of the sector. It also aims at the creation of infrastructure such as warehouses, cold storage and primary processing centres along with an enabling ecosystem.
With the availability of raw materials, 10 agro-climatic zones, agriculture resources, seafood, farming landscape, adequate cold storage capacity and easy connectivity to ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) region, Odisha has all the ingredients required for the food processing and seafood sector to flourish in the state.