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World's largest food park at Haridwar by August this year
Saturday, 28 February, 2009, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
A Rs 1,000-crore mega food park, claimed to be the world's biggest food park, will be ready at Haridwar in Uttarakhand by August this year. Swami Ramdev, the yoga guru, who has entered the food processing market in India, is the promoter of the food park. Called the Patanjali Food and Herbal Park, this is one of the 10 mega food parks in the country under the Union Food Processing Ministry.

The park will have 32 processing units for fruit and vegetable products like juice, pulp, puree, candies, herbal products and pickles. The park also plans to offer processed juices of bottle gourd, bitter gourd, carrot, amla, aloe vera, mint, tulsi, tomato, cucumber and wheat grass to the consumers.

While Patanjali Ayurved would be the major stake holder with an investment of Rs 500 crore, other companies like the UK-based Nature & Herbal Ltd and Sai Security Printers Pvt. Ltd are expected to pump in Rs 250 crore. According to the promoters, this would be the world's biggest food park.

Commenting on the project, Swami Ramdev says the food processing sector in India has a growth potential ranging from Rs 5000 crore to Rs 100,000 crore in a few years time.

At the foundation laying ceremony of the Patanjali Food and Herbal Park at village Padartha in Haridwar, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahai said that the Indian food processing industry was growing at 13.7% annually and the country was set to be become the food factory of the world. "While the growth of the manufacturing sector in the country has gone down from 7% to 6%, the food processing sector is growing at a robust 13.7%,"He added.

The mega food parks are being set up to boost the food processing sector through establishment of proper manufacturing and processing units, integrated supply chain management and to reduce wastage of agricultural produce. The minister said that though India depended on countries in the Gulf for oil, these countries looked to India for food.

"India's food processing industry has got the whole world market to exploit. Even the great American entrepreneur Warren Buffet when asked on CNN television where he would like to invest next, said he would like to invest in India's food processing sector," Sahai added.

Further, the minister also pointed that the processing of food to consumable standards are at levels of up to 80% in some developed countries, whereas the overall processing level of such produce in India ranges from 7-8%. The mega food parks scheme is the flagship project of the "Vision 2015" being undertaken by MFPI which is aimed at increasing the level of processing of perishables from 6% to 20% and raising value addition of such the products from 20% to 35%.
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