The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the food processing policy of the State government with the aim to promote export-oriented food processing units in anticipation of increased foodgrains production every year.
In the first phase as per the policy, at least 10 food processing zones will be established over 500 to 1,000 acres which will be scaled up to 10,000 acres by 2024-25. Entrepreneurs interested in setting up processing units in them will be offered incentives.
The policy also provides guidelines for various incentives that will be given to the entrepreneurs setting up food processing units in the State. The government will acquire and develop the land in the identified zones with all the necessary basic infrastructure. The land would be allotted to the applicants as per their eligibility. The effort is to garner investments worth Rs 25,000 crore and provide direct employment to 75,000 people and indirect employment to nearly three lakh people.
A buffer zone up to 500 metres would be set up around the zones which will be barred for human dwelling or constructions. The last date for applications has been extended from July 12 to July 31. The Cabinet meeting noted that a conducive atmosphere for food processing was created in the State due to stepped-up production in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries sectors on account of increased storage capacity of irrigation sources.
The Cabinet decision is expected to propel the establishment of rice mills and allied industries for rice products, processing units for pulses, oilseeds, fruits, flowers, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, milk and dairy processing units under the new policy. It has been decided to declare a buffer zone with 500 metres radius from the food processing zones and not to allow any habitations or constructions in this zone. The existing deadline of July 12 has been extended till July 31, enabling the interested entrepreneurs to submit their applications.
The Cabinet concluded that due to the significant increase in the irrigation capacity of the State, a flexible capacity has been created in the State to process the surplus produce achieved in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries sectors. A decision was taken to provide financial incentives to producers, farmers’ associations and self-help groups to develop the value chain further through the establishment of food processing companies. Necessary action will be taken to create a rural industrial ecosystem, through the food processing industries.