Union Food Processing Industries Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday virtually inaugurated the Rs 107.83 crore mega food park at Phagwara in Kapurthala district of Punjab which is likely to generate 5,000 jobs.
The mega food park, spread over 55 acres of land and that will benefit 25,000 farmers, is equipped with warehouses in 3,944 square meter, silos with 20,000 tonne capacity, cold storage with 3,000 tonne capacity as well as individually quick-frozen and deep freezer units and other facilities.
So far, 37 mega food parks have been sanctioned across the country, of which 20 have started functioning.
After the inauguration, Tomar said Punjab and Haryana have a significant role in development of the agriculture sector. Due to untiring efforts of farmers of these two states, India is not only self reliant in foodgrains but also food surplus.
"Punjab has been ahead in production of rice and wheat however, due to reduced ground water levels, diversification of crops is required for which Punjab farmers have taken several steps," an official statement quoted Tomar.
The minister also said that the food processing sector needs to be focused upon so that farmers get fair prices and related sectors can also benefit.
Highlighting measures taken to boost the farm sector, Tomar said MSP has been increased and a new scheme has been started to establish 10,000 new farmer producers organizations (FPOs) across the country. Besides, a Rs 10,000 crore fund has been created for the promotion of the food processing sector.
He further said that research has a huge role to play in the agriculture sector and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has been doing great work.
The minister asked the Punjab government to send proposals related to research and assured that Union Government would consider those proposals with all seriousness.
Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Rameswar Teli said that that latest technology and processing facilities will reduce wastage of food products and ensure fair prices for farmers.