The government on Wednesday approved some modifications in the guidelines of the mega food park scheme to boost investment in the food processing sector.
The modifications, which includes allowing the central government agencies to hold more than 26 percent equity in the mega food park, would streamline the implementation of the scheme.
"The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the modification in Mega Food Park Scheme guideline of infrastructure development for food processing," an official statement said.
In March, the Centre had allocated the development of 17 mega food parks across the country to state governments and private firms, including Adani Ports & SEZ, envisaging an investment of over Rs 6,000 crore, which includes a central grant of Rs 850 crore.
"The modification will also bring central government agencies on par with state government agencies by removing the restriction of a maximum 26 percent on their equity holding in the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and allowing all government agencies to become shareholders in the SPV without any restriction on their shareholding," the statement said.
These modifications are expected to trigger further investment in the food processing sector and ensure smooth implementation of the Mega Food Parks scheme, particularly projects at initial phases of the scheme's implementation.
The Scheme will be implemented in a market driven manner, commensurate with both global and national demands. Innovative supply chain management would be the key to implementation of this scheme. The project proposals for focusing on the processing and preservation of perishable food products would be given weightage in selection.
The government said that each mega food park is expected to benefit 6,000 farmers/producers directly and about 25,000 farmers indirectly. "Estimated investment in each project will be about Rs 100 crore in common facilities and will leverage an additional investment of about Rs 250 crore. Expected annual turnover of each project will be Rs 500 crore.
About 30 food processing units are expected to be set up in each project," it said. The Mega Food Park Scheme, based on cluster approach, aims at facilitating the establishment of a strong food processing industry backed by an efficient supply chain, which includes collection centres, central processing centre (CPC) and cold chain infrastructure.