India’s first mega food park to come up near HaridwarFebruary 23rd, 2009 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) The foundation stone for the first of the 10 mega food parks being set up by the government to boost the country’s food processing industry will be laid near Haridwar in Uttarakhand Wednesday.
Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahai will lay the foundation stone of the Patanjali Food and Herbal Park, being set up by yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Yog Peeth, at village Padartha on Luxor Road near Haridwar.
. The new park will span 95 acres of land around the village where a couple of factories linked to the food processing industry will initially come up, the Patanjali Yog Peeth saidin a statement.
“It is a first step taken the Patanjali Yog Peeth of Haridwar towards empowerment of agro economy of the state,” the statement said.
To be set up at a cost Rs. 500 crore (Rs.5 billion), the park will have 32 processing units to obtain value-added products of fruits and vegetables like juice, pulp, puree, candies, herbal products and pickles.
Many entrepreneurs from all over the country will be associated in this mega project, sharing common infrastructure and support services, according to the statement.
“It will be a boon for the growers of these fruits and vegetables since they can give their bulk produce to feed this mega utility park,” Acharya Balkrishna of Patanjali Yog Peeth said in the statement.
“…The growers will be trained how to grow amla and aloe vera crops on barren lands by the training centres of the food park,” he said, adding that Patanjali Yog Peeth will develop 100 such centres which shall also provide good quality seed and manure to farmers.
While a unit for powder and extract making of herbs is being planned at a later stage, project to procure bio-diesel from jetropa and crude palm oil is also on the cards.
The park is part of the Mega Food Parks Scheme launched by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries under the 11th Plan to boost the country’s booming food processing industry by reducing wastage of produce at the farm level and establishing a supply chain management that will take food in processed form from the farm gate to the retail outlet.
Though 30 such parks are being envisaged in the Plan period, initially 10 such parks will established in the first phase, each of which has a gestation period of two years.
Apart from Haridwar, the other nine parks will come up at Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh, Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu, Chikmagalur in Karnataka, Shirwal in Maharashtra, Nalbari in Assam, Jangipur in West Bengal, Ranchi in Jharkhand, Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh and Jalandhar in Punjab.