The Centre is taking steps to double production of the food processing sector, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said on Friday.
“Processing of food in India is at present 10 per cent as compared to 80 per cent in others countries like the Philippines and Malaysia. We want to improve this and various measures are being taken by the ministry including giving subsidies and concessions to the aspiring industrialists,” Badal told reporters.
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She along with Union Minister Manoj Sinha participated in the ‘Vikas Parva’ programme organised by BJP in the city.
Noting that the Centre has created buffer stock for cereals, Badal underlined that such stocks should be created for tomatoes and other vegetables.
“The government has also created buffer stock of cereals which would be released in the market when the artificial shortage is created. Similar stocks should be created by the cold storages of tomatoes and other vegetables,” she added.
“A sum of Rs 2,000 crore was also provided to NABARD to help such industries. At end of our (the government’s) term, we will once again go to the voters listing our achievements and this will be one of them,” the SAD leader said.
To a question, the minister said FDI has been allowed in the food processing sector to help it grow.
She added that food parks, cold storages and laboratories were among the various measures undertaken by her ministry for the said purpose.
“The Congress government had sanctioned two food parks and we (the NDA government) have sanctioned six more. With these total eight (food parks), we hope to meet the desired result of the food processing,” Badal added.
According to the minister, of these eight food parks, three will come up in Aurangabad, Satara and Wardha of Maharashtra and with the one in Aurangabad could be operational this year.
“By the next three years a total of 42 food parks should be operational,” she said, adding wastage of food in the country was to the tune of 1 lakh tonnes.