Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh asks District Collector to identify 250 acres of land for new facility
GUNTUR: Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh on Saturday announced that a `Spices Park' will be set up in 250 acres in Guntur district with the Spices Board taking the responsibility of bringing in investment for value addition process units.
Laying the foundation for `Quality Evaluation Laboratory' to be constructed in Guntur at an estimated cost of Rs.3 crores, he said the Ministry of Commerce, Spices Board and State Government would sign a MoU for the setting up a park where value addition of locally available spices would be taken up for benefiting growers.
He asked District Collector G. Jayalakshmi to identify an extent of 250 acres, which would be developed by the Spices Board by identifying the right investors.
Chilli flakes were being exported by Malaysia manufacturing them out of the chillis imported from India and Andhra Pradesh accounting for 50 per cent of chilli production in the country had a good potential for value addition, he observed. Also 36 per cent of spice exports constituted chillis and 18 per cent in value terms.
Of the Rs.500 crores worth of chillis exported, 70 per cent was from Andhra Pradesh, which must take advantage of its resources to begin value addition, the Minister said and sought the cooperation of local MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao and MLAs.
The Spices Board Chairman V.J. Kurien said that it had already appointed an Assistant Director and two field officers to take care of the operations here.