Tamil Nadu has sought an allocation of Rs. 261.2 crore from the Central government for establishing food processing industries in the State.

Making this demand in the conference of State Food Processing Ministers in New Delhi on Tuesday, Veerapandi S. Arumugam, Agriculture Minister, referred to a host of projects to be implemented in the State and explained their importance. Adverting to the problem of the presence of high moisture in paddy, Mr. Arumugam said that for overcoming the problem, it was essential to establish eight drying-cum-storage complexes for paddy at Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Cuddalore, Tiruchi, Karur and Ariyalur districts at a cost of Rs. 241.2 crore at the rate of Rs. 30.15 crore per complex.

He also referred to the projects of processing industrial units for coconut, mango/tomato, grapes and amla in Pattukottai (district: Thanjavur), Krishnagiri, Odaipatti (Theni) and Dindigul respectively, and requested the Centre to grant Rs. 5 crore each for the projects.

On the establishment of terminal markets in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore districts, the Minister said two entrepreneurs were selected to establish the terminal markets, and new guidelines of the Union government were awaited. The work on the establishment of cashewnut export zone for Rs.17.00 crore in Cuddalore district was under progress.

U. Mathivanan, Minister for Dairy Development, urged the Centre to support the State government in areas such as creation of cold chains for preserving processed milk and milk products, strengthening quality control labs in the state for ensuring quality in the dairying business and establishment of new modern ice cream manufacturing plants at Chennai and Coimbatore.

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