The Ministry of food processing industries is implementing various central schemes for promotion and development of food processing industries to boost employment in these sectors.
Under these schemes, the Government has approved, 42 Mega Food Park projects, 38 Abattoir projects, 134 Integrated Cold Chain Projects, 101 Food Testing Laboratories, 200 R&D projects. Committed or spillover liabilities of 11th Plan are also being liquidated during the 12th Plan, Bureaucracy Today has learnt.
“Grant-in-aid will be provided at 35-50 per cent of the eligible project cost in general areas, and 50-75 percent in difficult areas and hilly areas i.e. North East region including Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and ITDP notified areas of the states,” the Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti told Lok Sabha in a written reply on Tuesday.
During the last six years up to 2014-15, the employment in registered food processing sector is said to be increasing at an average annual growth rate of 2.18 per cent. The Government earlier announced various fiscal incentives in terms of reduction and exemption of taxes along with a fund of Rs. 2000 crore, constituted with NABARD, to provide loans at concessional rate to Mega Food Parks and its units.
“There is a scope for growth of food processing industries and employment in the food processing sector in the country as India has huge diversified production base and low level of processing. There is a huge potential of creating off-farm employment in food processing sector especially in rural areas,” the Minister said.
Currently, the country’s level of processing perishable products, such as, fruits and vegetables is 2.1 per cent, milk and milk products is 35 per cent, meat is 21 per cent, poultry is 6 per cent and marine is 23 per cent.