10 Jul 2012

Shri Pawar Calls for Priority Sector Status to Food Processing Projects

Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar today, in addition to existing instruments of duty exemption etc, strongly advocated for giving the status of priority sector lending for the projects involved in processing of perishable products. 

He was speaking after inaugurating the Srini Mega Food Park at Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. 

“The Ministry expects that this year another three projects will be completed in the country. This has further enthused me to upscale this scheme in this five year plan so that more and more farmers and entrepreneurs from rural India gets associated in the food processing sector, creating wealth for themselves and for the country. Let me also inform the budding entrepreneurs gathered here that the Government has decided to further incentivize the food processing sector through various windows,” the Minister said. 

Elaborating on the importance of food processing sector and the initiatives being taken by the government for its growth, the Minister said: 

“Some studies have revealed that we might be loosing around 40 to 50 thousand crores of rupees for the lack of post-harvest facilities. With adequate processing facilities, much of this waste can be reduced with increasing remunerative price to the producer as well as ensuring greater supply to the consumer at appropriate price. 

“A strong and dynamic food processing sector plays a significant role in diversification of agricultural activities, improving value-addition opportunities and creating surplus for export of agro-food products. To achieve the objectives of maximizing value addition, minimizing wastage and for generation of employment opportunities the Government has taken a number of initiatives. 

“Keeping this in mind, my Ministry has launched a National Mission of Food Processing and the initial feedback from various state governments is extremely encouraging. This mission is launched with a philosophy of decentralization, greater participation of the state governments, convergence of various programmes in this sector and implementing the schemes in the mission mode instead of routine vertical programmes. This scheme has adopted all the flexibility of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, which has been vehicle of agriculture growth during the 11th plan and has been one of the model schemes with maximum participation of state governments and flexibility with no tailor-made schemes imposed by the central government on the states. I am also happy to announce that we have already started the admission process for the National Institute of Food Technology and Entrepreneurship Management, located in Haryana, very close to Delhi. This NIFTEM with IICPT in Tanjore are expected to fulfill the requirement of industry for the skilled manpower in this sector.” 

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