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Food parks to be linked to supply
BS Reporter in Kolkata | July 31, 2007 09:51 IST
The central government has taken up a Rs 400 crore (Rs 4-billion) project for building 30 mega food parks in India along with a proper supply chain for each of them.
Confirming the development, Subodh Kant Sahai, minister of state for food processing industries, government of India, said, "The centre would put in a grant of Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million). We would invite corporates and private players to invest the remaining."
He added, "With the growing FMCG business and a growing demand for packaged and ready-to-eat foods, a regular supply of good quality food products is necessary. Since people have enough disposable income these days they would not compromise on the quality and would opt for foreign products if we can not produce quality items domestically".
According to Sahai, "There would be more fresh foods retailers entering India and we have to give them a ready supply of quality foods. So adequate food processing parks for quality supply as well as an efficient logistics structure have to be brought in place".
The 30 mega food processing parks in India would also be linked to three districts for supply. These food parks would be engaged in demand-driven and contract farming.
The move is in line with developing India as a major food processing hub which could also stand out as a significant supplier to the world's consumption of meats, vegetables, fruits and dairy products.
"There are close to 56 food parks in India right now of which eight are in West Bengal. These food parks don't have a proper supply chain and the method used in food processing here is also not scientific. We are therefore also going to introduce Food Authority of India, an independent organisation, which would bring about scientific methods and latest technologies in food processing as well as strive to solve all kinds of problems faced by processors," Sahai claimed.
The Food Authority of India is expected to be introduced in September this year.
Sahai also informed that the centre is in the process of introducing an efficient cold storage system and refrigerated vans for carriage through the railways and ports.
These would also be multi-climatic storage vans so that all kinds of perishable goods could be carried without any damage caused to them.