August 13, 2016 6:06:26 pm
In a bid to save crops of farmers from destruction and provide better quality food to consumers, special subsidies will be provided to smaller food processing units, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said on Saturday.
“If you add food processing service to the cold chain, our ministry has decided to provide 50 per cent subsidy. If you only set up cold chain for storage and use cold chain vehicles to transport materials to food processing units, we will provide 35 per cent subsidy,” she said.
The ministry will soon issue guidelines on the same. The subsidies to smaller food processing units will also encourage them, Jyoti said, while speaking at a programme on food processing organised by industry body ASSOCHAM in Ahemdabad.
“The move will help save crops of smaller farmers from destruction and provide better quality food to consumers.
“I am happy to share that our proposal to set up 200 small food processing units has been given go ahead by the Cabinet. Such units can be set up at an investment of Rs 15-20 crore, and is not restricted by land requirement,” Jyoti said.
The ministry is in talks with the Railway Ministry to create a system wherein cold chain bogies can be added to super-fast trains, specially for perishable items, she said.
“Our ministry is coordinating with the Railway Ministry on this. If this happens, it will be a big step in the direction of food processing,” Jyoti said, adding a big step taken by the Centre was to separate food processing ministry from Agriculture, which has spurred reforms in the sector.
“Without proper processing system, crops get destroyed. China’s focus on food processing system has paid dividend, while we have lagged behind. I would like to congratulate Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi who worked to strengthen the food processing sector by making a separate ministry, which was earlier under agriculture ministry,” she added.
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