New Delhi, July 20: Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Monday inaugurated a mega food park in Mizoram that has been set up at a cost of Rs 75 crore and will benefit 25,000 farmers as well as generate 5,000 job opportunities.
The 55-acre food park, located at village-Khamrang in Kolasib District, Mizoram, is promoted by Zoram Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd. This is the first mega food park operationalized in the state.
The project is likely to attract a further investment of Rs 250 crore from about 30 processing units which will be set up in this park.
Speaking at the function, Badal emphasised that food processing sector has a potential to generate huge job opportunities for youth, boost farmers income and reduce food wastage in the country.
She rued that the processing level in India was still only 10% currently as against 80-90% in many countries including smaller ones.
With the setting up of this new mega food park in Mizoram, Badal said the farmers of this north eastern state, which has abundance of fruits and vegetables, would benefit immensely.
Zoram Mega Food Park will provide direct and indirect employment to 5,000 persons and benefit about 25,000 farmers in the CPC (Core Processing Centre) and PPC (primary processing Centre) catchment areas.
Badal said the Park will leverage an additional investment of about Rs 250 crore in about 30 food processing units in the park and would eventually lead to a turnover of about Rs 450-500 crore annually.
Badal virtually inaugurated park in the presence of Rameswar Teli, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region.
Lanunmawia Chuaungo, Chief Secretary of Mizoram, R Lalthangliana, Mizoram Minister of Commerce and Industries, R Lalzirliana, Mizoram Minister of P&E, C Lalrosanga, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, Mizoram, were also present.
Badal said the modern infrastructure for food processing will benefit the farmers, growers, processors and consumers of Mizoram and adjoining areas immensely. It will give a big boost to the growth of the food processing sector in the state.
Badal shared that, so far, a total of 88 ministry-supported projects have been sanctioned in the North Eastern Region and 41 have been implemented.
She said the projects worth Rs 1,000 crore approximately have been sanctioned with a subsidy support of over Rs 520 crore.
Badal said that 88 projects when fully completed, would create processing and preservation capacity for 8.66 lakh tonnes to handle agro produce worth Rs 2,166 crore.
Singh said the Prime Minister has asked all ministries to allocate projects in the North Eastern states for greater development of the region. He said the North-East region was neglected by the previous government at the Centre.
Singh said the state-of-the-art food park would boost the food processing infrastructure of Mizoram, which is full of unique varieties of fruits, vegetables and spices.
Teli said the state government has extended great cooperation in the setting up of this MFP. He said the park is spread over 55 acres of land and is set up at a cost of Rs 75. 20 crore.
Under the Mega Food Park Scheme, the government provides financial assistance up to Rs 50 crore per Mega Food Park project. Presently, 18 mega food park projects are under implementation in various states and 19 parks have already become functional in states. (PTI)