The government is planning to set up 100 new cold chain projects at a cost of Rs. 12,000 crore to Rs.13,000 crore.
- The centre has also kicked off the process to invite investors to set up six new mega food parks.
- These measures are aimed at boosting farm sector incomes by establishing farm to fork linkages.
India loses an estimated Rs.92,000 crore a year due to wasted food. Rs.9,000 crore has been invested in new cold storage capacity in the past two years and this has reduced 10% of the country’s food wastage.
Mega Food Parks Scheme:
The Scheme of Mega Food Park aims at providing a mechanism to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together farmers, processors and retailers so as to ensure maximizing value addition, minimizing wastages, increasing farmers’ income and creating employment opportunities particularly in rural sector.
Aim of the Scheme: The Scheme is aimed at providing modern infrastructure facilities along the value chain from farm gate to the market with strong backward and forward linkages.
What these food parks provide?
- They facilitate the efforts to increase the level of processing of agricultural and horticultural produce, with particular focus on perishables, in the country and thereby to check the wastage.
How it operates?
- The Scheme has a cluster based approach based on a hub and spokes model. It includes creation of infrastructure for primary processing and storage near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) and Collection Centres (CCs) and common facilities and enabling infrastructure at Central Processing Centre (CPC).
- The PPCs are meant for functioning as a link between the producers and processors for supply of raw material to the Central Processing Centres.
- CPC has need based core processing facilities and basic enabling infrastructure to be used by the food processing units setup at the CPC. The minimum area required for a CPC is 50 acres.
- The scheme is demand-driven and would facilitate food processing units to meet environmental, safety and social standards.
Implementation and financial assistance:
- Mega Food Park project is implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which is a Body Corporate registered under the Companies Act. State Government/State Government entities/Cooperatives applying for setting up a project under the scheme are not required to form a separate SPV.
- The financial assistance for Mega Food Park is provided in the form of grant-in-aid at 50% of eligible project cost in general areas and at 75% of eligible project cost in NE Region and difficult areas (Hilly States and ITDP areas) subject to maximum of Rs. 50 crore per project.
- Reduction in post-harvest losses.
- Maintainance of the supply chain in sustainable manner.
- Additional income generation for the farmers.
- Shifting the farmers to more market driven and profitable farming activities.
- It will be a one stop shop where everything will be available at a single location.
- As per experts, it will directly employ 10,000 people.
- Integrated food parks will help reduce supply chain costs.
- Wastage across the food value chain in India will also be reduced and quality and hygiene improvement to create food products in the country can also be seen.