Ranchi, Oct. 15: Jharkhand is set to go big on food processing with the industry department today announcing assistance up to Rs 50 lakh for technology upgrade and establishment and modernisation of proposed and existing units.
The announcement comes in the backdrop of chief minister Arjun Munda showing keen interest in the sector for which the Centre has already given Rs 5 crore this fiscal as part of the National Mission of Food Processing (NMFP).
The eligible units would be given grant-in-aid to cover cost of plant, machinery and technical civil works up to Rs 50 lakh. The units that stand to gain are those processing fruits, vegetables, milk products, meat, poultry, fish, cereals, pulses and oilseeds, rice and flour mills. The entities could be from the government, public, private or joint sectors, NGOs, co-operatives or individuals. The funds can also be utilised for expansion/modernisation of existing units.
The state industry directorate would receive applications to set up new units or expand/modernise an existing one till November 30. The proposals would be put for consideration before an “empowered” proposal clearing committee, which would be chaired by the chief secretary.
Speaking to The Telegraph, state industry secretary A.P. Singh said five or six proposals for setting up food processing units have already been received by the department.
Meanwhile, the chief minister today chaired the first meeting of the State Food Processing Developing Council for state specific policy decisions on the national mission. The committee comprises secretaries of finance, industry, agriculture, dairy and fisheries, co-operative and forest departments. Today’s meeting was also attended by industry representatives.
NMFP norms suggest methods for all round development of the sector. Under a HRD scheme to be launched soon, degree-diploma courses in food processing technology, entrepreneurship development programmes, food processing training centres are all on the anvil.
The mission would also focus on development of cold-chains, value addition and preservation of infrastructure for non-horticultural products.