Agartala, July 29 (IANS): The Northeast's fourth mega food park will be set up in Tripura at a cost of Rs 72 crore to accelerate the growth of food processing industry in the region, a minister said here on Sunday. It will be used to preserve fruits and vegetables coming from the country and abroad.
According to Tripura Industries and Commerce Minister Jitendra Choudhury, Assam has two Green Field Mega Food Parks while another such park is being set up in Manipur.
"Tripura grows abundant varieties of fruits and vegetables. By their processing and value addition through the proposed food park, the state is waiting to earn huge returns from both domestic as well as international markets," Choudhury told reporters.
"The food park will also help expand industries based on fruits and vegetable produces," he added.
The Tripura government has allotted 50 acres of land for setting up of the food park, being created by a private developer at a cost of Rs.72 crore, in Tulakona, 15 km north of state capital Agartala.
"Of the Rs.72 crore, union ministry of food processing industries (MFPI) would provide Rs.50 crore. A Kolkata based private company will develop the mega food park by next year end," the minister added.
"Fruits and vegetable growers would gain enormously if value addition is ensured," he said.
The food park will consist of necessary infrastructure such as cold storage, warehouse, workshops and weighbridge, and other common facilities like power and water supply would be made available.
"Various private and semi-government food processing companies would be allowed to set up their units in the food park," Choudhury added.
The mega food parks scheme, a flagship programme of the MFPI, approved during the 11th Five Year Plan, aims at accelerating growth of food processing industry in the country through facilitating establishment of strong food processing infrastructure backed by an efficient supply chain.
The mega food parks have been envisaged to help in creation of enabling infrastructure for food processing and a comprehensive 'farm-to-plate' supply chain system.
An official document said the food park would reduce wastage and ensure value addition, especially in perishables like fruits and vegetables.
"This is further aimed at reviving the agricultural sector by increasing the returns for farmers besides making processing more economically viable and help creating large employment opportunities particularly in the rural areas," the document added.