A son of the soil would give farming a new meaning.
Noida-based Amrapali Group, whose chairman-cum-managing director was born at Pandarak on the outskirts of Patna, will be inaugurating his second venture — a Mega Food Park — in Buxar, around 160km west of Patna. The total investment would be around Rs 400 crore.
With the food park, which would be inaugurated on February 7, chairman-cum-managing director Anil Kumar Sharma intends to employ Bihar farmers and give farming a profitable tag.
The park, which has been set up in Nawa Nagar in Buxar, will have 11 food-processing units. Company officials said the park would be inaugurated on February 7.
“The park, which is spread over 32.5 acres, will have 11 units dealing with different aspects of food processing. At present, two units deal with cornflake manufacturing and maize processing. They run under our brand name Mum’s food. The other units will be manufacturing fruit juice, vegetable processing, pulp, rice and milk processing, poultry, tomato sauce, jams, jelly etc,” said Sanjeev Kumar Singh, the chief executive officer of Amrapali Biotech Private Limited, a wing of the group.
He added: “The cost of the food park would be Rs 182 crore out of the total investment of Rs 400 crore. Tariq Anwar, the minister of state for agriculture and food processing, would inaugurate the plant. The official name of the food park is Amrapali Mum’s Mega Food Park Private Limited. Our chairman-cum-managing director Anil Kumar Sharma will also be present. We have succeeded in getting land from the farmers directly.”
In 2002, the group had opened its first food-processing unit in Rajgir.
Sources in the company said the park had been set up to realise Nitish Kumar’s dream of serving a Bihari dish on every plate in the country.
“There will be local employment. Around 150 to 200 people will be employed in the park. Apart from this, no raw material will be bought from outside Bihar. The farmers in the district have been contacted and we have provided good-quality manure and fertiliser to them. Their produce will be bought by the food park and then processed. The manufactured products will then go to different parts of Bihar and other states,” a source in the company said.
Nawanagar resident Birendra Singh said the farmers’ fate would change, as they would now have a safer market to sell their products. “Contract farming is being encouraged for the plant. Farmers growing wheat and maize are being persuaded to plant other crops because that would help the farmers and the company make good money. Nearly 2,000 people would benefit from the plant,” he said.