IFFCO to set up Kisan SEZ

Special Correspondent

To set up a technical training facility

Scope for large scale employment

NEW DELHI: With farmers’ protests derailing plans of many companies to set up special economic zones, fertilizer cooperative, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO), announced that it will set up agriculture-based food processing SEZ with an investment of Rs. 2,400 crore in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.

Significantly, to avoid any controversy or confrontation with farmers, it has made peasants direct shareholders in the upcoming project in Andhra Pradesh but also named it as ‘Kisan SEZ’ to provide state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities to a range of industries with primary focus on food processing and agri-based industries.

IFFCO Chairman, S. K. Jakhar, said it would be the country’s first Kisan SEZ that was expected to generate employment for more than 10,000 persons. The project site is located on NH5 (Howrah-Chennai Highway) and is close to Krishnapatnam port.

Mr. Jakhar said the project would not displace any farmer as the land, about 2,800 acres, was already in possession of the cooperative. The project has also been given the green signal by the Commerce Ministry. Alongside the multi-product SEZ, IFFCO plans to set up a technical training institute and construction training facilities in the State for farmers.

It may be recalled that farmers in Maharashtra, Haryana and West Bengal have protested land acquisition for SEZs and industrial units. The Centre has put a ceiling of 5,000 hectare to an SEZ, and come out with a resettlement and rehabilitation policy that makes it mandatory for developers to buy bulk of the land directly from farmers at market price.

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