If Jharkhand is lucky enough, Ranchi will be ready with a tempting plate of goodies by next year with outlets churning everything from freshly cut veggies, exotic pickles and instant mixes to soups, garlic bread and pastries — all from one address.
For, those setting up eastern India’s first mega food park in the Getalsud Industrial Area of Ranchi believe it will be operational by September 2013, now that all the initial bottlenecks have been resolved.
The project, the foundation stone for which was laid in February 2009 in the presence of then Union food processing minister Subodh Kant Sahay, former Governor Syed Sibtey Razi and Yoga practitioner Baba Ramdev, would start handing over plots to prospective investors by April 2013.
Nitin Shenoy, MD of Jharkhand Mega Food Park Private Limited (JMFPPL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up to implement the Rs 113.95 crore project, said all pending issues at the level of the Centre and the state had been resolved.
“Now there are no bottlenecks. The issue of sub-lease has been resolved with the state government and we are in the final process of getting loans from a nationalised bank. While Rs 50 crore will come as subsidy from the Union ministry of food processing, the remaining Rs 63.95 crore will be our investment,” said Shenoy, a Mumbai-based entrepreneur whose GenX Venture is the primary partner, along with Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved, in the project.
The food park will come up over an area of 56 acres in Getalsud, about 25km from Ranchi. Over 30 acres will house about 32 food processing units with each being provided anything between 0.33 acre to six acres.
Shenoy, who was in Ranchi to take part in an industry department organised investors’ workshop on agro and food processing, added that they were hoping to set up various kinds of units offering a range of products from freshly cut vegetables and fruits, juices and concentrates to ketchup, traditional, pickles, blended masala, branded flour, papads, breads and bakery products, in addition to noodles and soups, instant mixes, snacks, semolina, et al.
The promoters of the food park have also tied up with Kishore Biyani’s Future Group (Big Bazar), Reliance Fresh, among other chains, to provide a ready market for the units who would set up shop.
JMFPPL, in association with state industry department and Ranchi industrial area development authority (RIADA), would hold workshops and roadshows in the near future to tell people about the venture.
Several prospective investors, some of whom were present at the workshop, raised questions about the charges they would be levied for setting up units. Shenoy told them they would be notified later, but assured them that the charges would be reasonable.
A committee comprising representatives from the SPV as well as the industry department will sub-lease small areas to the investors for setting up their units. Investors will be charged for the common facilities within the park and for supply of raw materials.
Once operational, the food park is expected to boost the state’s prospects in horticulture, besides opening cold storage facilities and helping in setting up of better transport facilities to keep the supply chain running.
What products would you like to see at the food park?