Madhya Pradesh’s first food park- Indus Mega Food Part Pvt Ltd- has been inaugurated by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries, at Khargone on February 12, 2016.
What is a Food Park, technically?
Put away those picnic baskets. This is a hi-tech food facility we’re talking about. “This mega food park project will create a modern infrastructure for arresting post-harvest losses of horticultural and non-horticultural produce and provide impetus to the growth of food processing sector in Madhya Pradesh. Indus Mega Food Park project will help in providing better prices to farmers, reduce wastage of perishables, add value to agricultural produce and create huge opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment for the youth of the State,” explains Harsimrat Badal.
IMFPPL, set up at Khargone (Near Indore, Madhya Pradesh), has been conceptualized as a food processing infrastructure facility providing world class infrastructure and technology to the enterprises engaged in the food processing industry. Located in one of the most agri-rich areas of India, the facility is foreseen as the destination for sourcing food and food related products for domestic and international markets pretty soon.
The park will also provide a platform and establish backward and forward linkages covering the entire food processing value chain, quality assurance, food safety and implementation of best practices post-harvest. It will make available the latest food processing technologies to manufacturers and marketers through tie-ups.
The ‘Who’ of the Food Park:
The Indus Mega Food Park is promoted by Ananda Group and Vasistha Holdings Ltd. The Ananda Group is a veteran in the agro-based industry and Vasistha Holdings Limited is a diversified entity with interests in Renewable Power Generation, Infrastructure Development, Storage of Agriculture produce and other agro-related businesses.
The project is supported and approved by Ministry of Food Processing, Government of India, and the State Government of Madhya Pradesh under ‘Mega Food Parks Scheme’ to provide all infrastructural facilities under one roof.
There are 6 other food parks in India, as of 2015, in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telegana, Haryana, Punjab and Odisha. A financial assistance of upto Rs. 50.00 Crore is provided for setting up Mega Food Parks for creation of modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market. A total of 42 Mega Food Parks have been sanctioned by the Government. Currently, 25 projects are under implementation. An Expression of Interest (EoI) was invited on 10.02.2014. The ministry received 72 proposals, out of which, 17 suitable proposals from 11 States have been selected and approved for implementation.
Parks like these will create huge modern infrastructure for the food processing sector and provide impetus to the growth of the sector. These 17 newly selected Mega Food Parks are likely to attract an investment of around Rs. 2000 crore in modern infrastructure, additional collective investment of around Rs. 4000 crore in 500 food processing units in the Parks and an annual turnover of Rs. 8000 crore. These Parks, when fully functional, will create employment for about 80,000 persons and benefit about 5 lakh farmers directly and indirectly.