The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Tuesday approved the setting up of 15 new mega food park projects in addition to the 15 ongoing projects under the Infrastructure Development Scheme involving a government grant of Rs.787.50 crore.

The setting up of the new mega food parks is expected to facilitate state-of-the-art infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlets. The projects are meant to bring about substantial reduction of wastage, value addition, employment generation and increased income for farmers.

The scheme is tailored to be implemented in a market-driven manner commensurate with global and national demand. Innovative supply chain management will be the key to implementation of this scheme. Expressions of Interest (EoI) will be invited from prospective entrepreneurs. The timeline for project implementation of each food park is 24 months from the date of release of first tranche of the first instalment.

Under the guidelines, each mega food park must benefit at least 6,000 farmers / producers directly and 25,000-30,000 farmers indirectly and generate about 40,000 direct and indirect jobs. The estimated investment in each project will be about Rs.100 crore in common facilities is expected to leverage an additional investment of about of Rs.250 crore. The annual turnover of each project should be Rs.500 crore. In each project, an estimated number of 30-40 food processing industries must be set up.

The scheme is expected to operate in hub and spoke model under which there will be farm proximate Collection Centres (CC) and Primary Processing Centres (PPC) which will set up cleaning, grading, sorting and packing facilities, dry warehouses, specialised cold stores, including pre-cooling chambers, ripening chambers, mobile pre-coolers and mobile collection vans.

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