"The first mega food park will come up in West Bengal," he said at a FICCI organised seminar 'Food World India 2005'.
The Centre has decided to set up 20 mega food parks in the country in order to speed up farm sector's growth by bringing about the much needed diversification. Each mega food park would be developed by spending about Rs 70-100 crore (Rs 700 million to Rs 1 billion), an official said.
"We are committed to double our horticulture production in the state within next five year," West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said. He acknowledged the central government's positive role towards ensuring speedy project clearance.
He also thanked the centre for promoting West Bengal as a new investment destination for the food processing industries.
"We are getting all possible help from the central government in our endeavour to diversify the farm sector," he said.
Of the 51 food parks sanctioned so far by the ministry of food processing, Sahai said, "West Bengal alone accounts for eight of them".
West Bengal is the highest producer of rice, vegetables, potato and pineapple in the country, Bhattacharjee said, adding that this made the state an attractive investment destination for the processed food industry."We seek investment from both domestic and foreign investors," the Chief Minister said.