(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013 – PIB “Topic : Tapping The Huge Potential of Food Processing Sector”

(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013

Chapter: Gist of Press Information
Bureau Articles

Topic: Tapping The Huge Potential of
Food Processing Sector

Q. What are the reasons behind wastage of agricultural and horticultural
products?

Due to lack of efficient supply chains and processing
infrastructure, the results in considerable amount of wastage of agricultural
and horticultural produce. As per a study conducted by the Central Institute for
Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology, post-harvest losses in 2009 were to the
tune of Rs. 44,000 crore.

To harness the full potential of the food sector, the Ministry of Food
Processing Industries launched new schemes in the 11th Plan, which are at
different stages of implementation.

Q. What is Mega Food Parks Scheme?

  • The Mega Food Parks have farm proximate facilities such as primary
    processing centres, collection centres and a central processing centre. The
    food processing units within a Mega Food Park use common infrastructure
    required for processing, packaging, quality control labs, trade facilitation
    centre etc, based on their needs.
  • This cluster approach makes food processing more economically viable.
    The state-of-the art processing infrastructure gives them the required
    technical edge.
  • Each Mega Food Park is envisaged to catalyse an
    investment of Rs. 250 crore, leading to annual turnover of about Rs. 400 –
    500 crore. The scheme provides for a capital grant of 50 percent of the
    project cost (excluding the cost of land) subject to a maximum of Rs. 50
    crore. In difficult and ITDP notified areas, the grant is even higher at 75
    percent of project cost (excluding the cost of land) with a ceiling of Rs.
    50 crore. The grant is utilized towards creation of common infrastructure in
    the Meg a Food Park and also setting up of Primary Processing and Collection
    Centres.

Q. What is the Scheme for Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation
Infrastructure?

The Scheme for Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation
Infrastructure intends to address the shortage of cold storage capacity. Huge
gap of 9 to 10 million tonnes of cold storage capacity was identified in the
country by the Task Force on Cold Chains.

The scheme aims at providing integrated and complete cold
chain, value addition and preservation infrastructure facilities without any
break, for perishables from the farm gate to the consumer. The assistance under
the scheme includes financial assistance (grant-in-aid) of 50% of total cost of
plant and machinery and technical/ civil works in general areas and 75% for
North East region and difficult areas, subject to a maximum of Rs. 10 Crore.

Initially, 10 integrated cold chain projects are under
implementation in different parts of the country. Out of these projects, 8 have
started commercial production. Concurrent evaluation of projects reveals
substantive value addition, reduction in wastage and enhancement in farmers’
income.

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