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Four food parks will be operational in next three months, states Jyoti
Friday, 02 June, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Up to four mega food parks will become operational during the course of the next three months. This was stated by Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, minister of state for food processing industries, at the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India’s (ASSOCHAM) National Conference on Cold Chain, which took place in New Delhi recently.
 
“Only two mega food parks became operational between 2009 and 2014, whereas six mega food parks became operational between 2014 and 2017. Likewise, 42 mega food parks will become operational by 2019,” she added, highlighting that the government had sanctioned 63 cold chain projects since 2014.

Jyoti said, “We have received 300 proposals for setting up new cold chain projects, which shows that industry across India is taking interest in the food processing sector. We have received many applications from north-eastern states like Nagaland and Manipur.”

The minister that while the government was working at a rapid pace for the development of the food processing sector, it was imperative that the industry imparted training to farmers to take utmost care of quality of produce.
 
Jyoti said she had suggested to her ministry storage facilities must be provided for perishable products like wheat and rice in the market itself, so that farmer can take it to the desired place later. “I hope this suggestion will be considered by the cabinet,” she added.
 
The minister, who recently met Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, added, “We and the state government will ensure that land, power, safety and all sorts of facilities will be provided to industrialists willing to set up food parks in the state.” She stated that she was surprised to note that there was not a single food park in such a huge state, whose size was equivalent to that of a country.

Sathguru Management Consultants (P) Ltd, knowledge partners for the event, released a report on cold chain. Satyanarayana K V, lead, food processing and retail practice, said, “Technologies addressing the holistic needs of the local supply chains need to be adopted.”

“An ecosystem for nurturing research and development (R&D), technology transfer and subsequent commercialisation of novel cold chain technologies should be created. Skill development is the need of the hour, considering the rapid expansion foreseen in the sector,” he added.

D K Singh, chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), said his organisation was working on the horticulture sector to increase the export basket. He added, “APEDA is trying to export and promote mangoes in a big way.”
 
“When we think of a business plan in logistics development, we must also think of those aspects which are relevant in a particular market,” he added, highlighting that the feedback received from Korea on the export of mangoes was not good, regarding quality, packaging and other related issues.
 
“We realised that we focus only on the backward integration in the system, but we never thought what is the co-relation and forward linkages up to the country where it is reaching,” Singh said.
 
He rued the fact that logistics for cold chain for import items was better than it was for the export items, as those products had to be brought and quickly distributed to the consumers.
 
“That segment is well off, and the industry is ready for a distribution network, but not for exports, and the industry is not ready to work with farmers,” stated the APEDA chief.
 
He added that merely creating few cold storage for potato, apple, grapes would not be sufficient in order to increase farmers’ income, as such a system needs to be put in place to collect the farmers’ produce at the farm, sort it, grade it in next 5-6 hours and transport it to a place having pre-cooling facility and from there to the pack house for a higher level of packaging and processing and from that point, it is taken to the port for export.
 
“So the entire chain has to be addressed and preferably by a chain of operators who have interest in the entire value chain,” said Singh.
 
“We are working on a scheme for next three years, where we have made, for the first time, a significant role for the service provider in a big way. Our proposal is that export facility centres (EFC) stay, and once our approval of EFC comes, the scheme will be implemented, and we will seek suitable and viable proposals from service providers who are ready to work with the farmers and for exports,” he added.
 
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