Reported by ChinmayaDehury
Bhubaneswar, April 20:
The Odisha government has decided to apply for ‘expression of interest'(EoI) to set up a mega food park in Koraput district under the mega food park scheme of Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI).
The Ministry, which is implementing the mega food park scheme to develop modern infrastructure facilities for setting up of food processing industries on a cluster basis, has already invited fresh expression of interest (EoI) as per the amended guidelines.
The last date for submission of EoI is 30 April.
“I am directed to say that proposal for setting up of a mega food park by your organization may be submitted to MoFPI as per the guidelines on or before 30 April,” said a letter of MSME department to the managing director of Odisha Agro Industries Corporation.
Following the amendment of guidelines of Mega Food Park Scheme, MoFPI has asked the Odisha government to send proposals for developing new mega food parks in the state.
MoFPI has approved 40 mega food park projects in as many as 23 states which are at various stages of implementation.
Recently, the Centre had cancelled the in-principle approval of Huma Coastal Mega Food Park as the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) constituted for the implementation of the project at Ganjam failed to meet the prescribed conditions for final approval for this project. However, the Centre has asked Odisha government to apply afresh for the project.
A mega food park is being set up in Rayagada district to promote food-processing industry. The proposed food park will provide facilities for 16 types of food-processing units.
Potential sectors included maize, rice, dairy industry, poultry, spices, fruits and vegetables, mango pulp, tomato puree, grains-milling and processing such as breakfast cereals, coffee, cashew processing, pickle industry, tamarind processing, ready-to-eat food products, soft drinks and natural juice.
Significantly, the project is being established in the undivided Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) region, which has a rich potential for the growth of food-processing industries.
It may be noted that the traditional farming system being practised in Koraput has been accorded the status of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
The mega food park is expected to generate direct and indirect employment opportunity for around 30,000 people. Moreover, tribal people, who collect forest products, will also be benefited by the project.
Koraput, which is considered the cradle land of rice, produces hundreds of indigenous rice varieties. Besides, coffee and spices are also being cultivated in the region.