The milk storage capacity of the Tiruchi District Cooperative Milk Producers Union (Aavin) will soon increase by 80,000 litres as the union has been sanctioned Rs. 67.88 lakh as subsidy under the National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) for setting up a new milk cold storage.

A butter storage facility has been sanctioned under the mission.

The facilities are to be established at the Aavin unit at Kottapattu in the city at a cost of Rs. 1.35 crore and 50 per cent subsidy has been sanctioned under the NMFP. The first instalment of the subsidy, Rs.16.97 lakh, was handed over to the Aavin officials by R. Manoharan, Chief Whip, on Tuesday.

The union procures about 2.80 lakh litres of milk every day from member dairy farmers’ cooperative societies. A major portion of this is sent to Chennai.

The Aavin plant currently has a milk cold storage capacity of 40,000 litres.

The additional cold storage would help increase local sales, Aavin sources said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agri Business has invited applications from prospective entrepreneurs and institutions for availing subsidy under the NMFP for business ventures in food processing sector.

Subsidy provided under the NMFP implemented by the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries is shared by the Centre and State governments in the ratio of 75:25, according to a communication from the Department.

Under the mission, subsidy can be availed by individuals, government organisations, private and cooperative institutions for establishing and modernising food processing industries and technology upgrade as well. Subsidy can be availed for cold chain projects involving non-horticultural products, creation of primary processing and collection centres in rural areas and for purchase of new reefer vehicles and mobile pre-cooling vans for transport of perishables.

Grants are given for human resource development schemes such as entrepreneurship development programmes, degree or diploma courses in food processing technology and running food processing training centres. Subsidy is available for promotional activities such as seminars, workshops, surveys, participation in exhibitions, and fairs.

Applications will be scrutinised by the District Level Empowered Committee headed by the District Collector and recommended to State Level Empowered Committee. Applicants will have to appraise the committees about their projects to avail the subsidy.

Application forms can be downloaded from Applications along with requisite documents should be submitted at the office of the Deputy Director (Agri Business), No.11, Arabic College St., Khajanagar, Tiruchi. For details, call 2422142.