Headed by the Collector, it would scrutinise proposals for financial assistance

: A District Food Processing Mission Committee, headed by District Collector, has been formed to implement the National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP), a new centrally sponsored scheme, jointly launched by the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Tamil Nadu Government.

The district-level committee, with Collector as Chairman and Deputy Director (Agri Business) as Member-Secretary-cum-Nodal Officer, has been formed recently to receive and scrutinise proposals for seeking financial assistance from various schemes under NMFP.

“The Department of Agriculture Marketing and Agri Business has received half a dozen proposals, including one from an educational institution for creating infrastructure for running degree/diploma and certificate courses in food processing technology,” sources in the department said.

They said the proposals would be taken up for perusal by the committee, at its first meeting, to be held later this month after the farmers’ grievance day. Joint Director (Agriculture), Deputy Director (Horticulture), NABARD Manager, TICC Manager, District Commercial Tax Officer, Lead Bank Manager, Cooperative Bank Manager, Fishermen Association Leader and Chamber of Commerce President are the members of the district committee. NMFP is aimed at assisting the state government in addressing both institutional and infrastructural gaps along the value chains and thus creating an efficient supply chain for farm produce. The main objectives of NMFP are to promote initiatives for skill development, training and entrepreneurship, which would meet needs of both post-harvest management and food processing industry and to assist food processing industry to meet requisite standards in terms of food safety laws and market demand, both domestic and international, it said.

Under the scheme, financial subsidies are given for technology upgrading/ setting up/ modernization/ expansion of food processing industries/ supporting cold chain facilities and reefer vehicles for other than horticulture products. Those who come forward to set up these facilities could avail a maximum subsidy of Rs.10 crore, the sources said.

Financial assistance is also given for starting entrepreneurship development programme and food processing training centre. Under schemes for promotional activities, financial assistances are also given for organizing seminar/workshops, conducting studies/surveys and organizing exhibition and fairs, the sources said, adding the subsidies are given by both the centre and state governments on 75:25 per cent basis respectively.

Detailing the schemes and subsidy components, the Department of Agriculture Marketing and Agri Business has distributed about 5,000 pamphlets to various stake holders in the district, the sources added.