The Telegraph
Sunday , April 27 , 2014
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Food park hurdle

Calcutta, April 26: Bengal may not be able to reap the benefits of the mega food park scheme formulated by the Centre as part of the 11th Plan.

The scheme requires the state to provide large tracts of 50-100 acres, which Bengal may not be able to give.

“The idea behind the mega food park scheme was to reduce wastage, improve logistics, increase value addition of food, provide more income to farmers and to encourage primary processing centres. The Centre will provide an assistance of Rs 50 crore. This was linked to the number of units being set up in the park and the size of area which was revised to 100 acres. We have a population pressure and availability of such large plots here is a problem,” said Jayanta Kumar Aikat, director of food processing industries, Bengal government.

He was speaking at a seminar on opportunities in food processing organised by iLead Foundation in association with the directorate of food processing of the Bengal government.

The scheme also requires a lead investor to put in Rs 10 crore in such a project. It may be difficult to find a lead investor as delays in securing necessary clearances will impact the return on his investments.

Bengal has only one mega food park coming up at Jangipur.