Himachal firm plans agro-food unit in Gujarat

January 15th, 2009 - 4:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Jan 15 (IANS) Himalaya International Ltd (HIL), a Himachal Pradesh-based frozen food manufacturer, will invest Rs.1.4 billion (Rs.140 crore) to set up an export-oriented unit in Gujarat, a company official said Thursday.”We will invest Rs.140 crore for establishing an export-oriented agro-food processing facility in Gujarat. The project will be funded through internal accruals, warrants and borrowings from banks,” HIL managing director Man Mohan Malik told IANS.

“We have signed an understanding with the Gujarat Agro Industries Corp. The state government is providing us 100 acres in Mehsana district,” he added.

The Gujarat facility will produce ready-to-eat products like frozen mushroom, mozzarella sticks, cheese and appetizers. “From this unit, we plan to export to Western markets,” Malik said.

HIL posted a turnover of Rs.46 crore (Rs.460 million) in the last financial year.

The company is also planning to sign an agreement with the Gujarat Tribal Development Department for starting contract farming.

“We will provide technical knowhow to farmers to cultivate Spanish onions, jalapeno and seedless eggplants, which the company will buy back for processing frozen food and appetisers,” he said.

The facility, which is expected to start commercial production by next year, will generate employment for nearly 2,000 people, Malik said.

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