Minister for Agriculture K. P. Mohanan has said that the government has proposed to set up a catering college on the Meat Products of India (MPI) campus at Koothattukulam leveraging the facilities at the campus.

He said that there were land and other facilities available at the MPI campus, which could be utilized to their full potential.

The Minister was inaugurating the new poultry processing unit at the MPI campus, near here on Monday. He said that the proposed catering college, under the Kerala Veterinary University, could utilize the facilities at the MPI campus, including the upcoming food quality control laboratory.

The new poultry processing plant is among the several new facilities being added to the government-owned MPI, which is the largest meat processing unit in the State in the organized sector.

The MPI sources said that launching a catering college would help both MPI and the proposed training facility, as the existing facilities could be leveraged, and research and development activities could be augmented.

The new poultry processing plant has the capacity to dress 4,000 birds a day and is the largest such facility in the State now, said the managing director of the MPI, Ani S. Das.

Minister for Excise and Ports K. Babu presided at the meeting, which marked the inauguration of the new facilities at the MPI, including the chilling and curing plant and a biogas plant, which will handle the organic waste originating in the meat processing unit.

The new facilities, being added at a total investment of Rs. 2.5 crore, include a new pig rearing farm and poultry and animal feeds production facilities. The new poultry bird processing plant costs approximately Rs. 45 lakh while the chilling and freezing unit costs around Rs. 75 lakh. The new bio-gas plant, taking care of the waste from the MPI units costs around Rs. 25 lakh.