Punjab Government is all set to give a big push to food processing industry in the state by establishing five primary processing/collection centers and pack houses at various places for proposed multi product mega food park being setup by Punjab Agro Industries on 100 acres at Ladhowal, Ludhiana at a cost of Rs. 140 crore.
Stating this here today, an official spokesperson disclosed that Punjab has been growing rapidly in the area of food processing, which will definitely witness transformation in the current beleaguered agriculture sector in the state. He said five collection centers would be setup at village Muskabad (Samrala), Saholi (Nabha), Kangmai (Hoshiarpur), Lalgarh (Samana) and Babri (Gurdaspur). Besides, state is going to identify five more such centers to develop world class fruits and vegetables clusters.
He said fetching big investments in food processing industries was one of the top priorities and state had launched its agro industrial & food processing policy to provide incentives to the entrepreneurs. “Punjab has tremendous potential and state was launching special drives to make aware the farmers in this regard”, he added.
Spokesperson said the state was also focusing on provisioning of basic amenities including Individual quick freezing, dry warehouse, steel silos, controlled atmospheric chambers, pre-cooling chambers, ripening chambers, deep freezers, reefer vans, milk chilling units, weigh bridge, steam power generating units, food incubation centre and testing laboratory etc. He said extraordinary endeavours would also be initiated for marketing of processed food.
Describing the proposed mega food park at Ladowal a game changer in agriculture, he said that 30-40 food processing units processing frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen french fries, milk, maize, bakery products, wheat pasta, tomato, chilies, snack foods, eggs, malt, honey, haldi etc would be setup here. He said 60 acres of land would be developed for food processing units and remaining 40 acres for development of common facilities.
He informed that about 700 people were expected to be employed in the running and maintenance of core infrastructure. Besides, food processing units in the park were likely to provide direct employment to more than 1800 persons with an indirect employment opportunities were estimated for over 28000 persons.
The spokesman said Punjab government was paying particular heed to propel the all-round growth of food processing and for this purpose the State Food Processing Development Council has been constituted to facilitate the investors, farmers and industrialists. “To facilitate industry in ensuring back-end supplies of raw material, contract farming act-2012 has been enacted and APMC Act is being amended”, he added.
He said the food processing activities would be in a position to liberate farmers from vicious crop cycle along financial crisis by extending value addition of various crops. To train the farmers state government would setup agricultural marketing extension and training institute.
He asserted the major thrust on crop diversification would bring more area under cultivation of Maize, Cotton, Pulses, Basmati, Sugarcane, Fodder, Fruits, Vegetables and Agro Forestry.