Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated the first of its kind Rs 136 crore Mega International Food Park at Dabwala Kalan, in Fazilka district of Punjab.
While inaugurating the food park, which is among the fourth such parks in the country, the minister gave a clarion call for establishment of more food processing units to reduce food wastage worth Rs 45,000 crores in the country. She said,"This is just the beginning. The Ministry has succeeded in promoting International Food Park by extending a subsidy of Rs 50 crore. In the near future you will see many more parks and food processing units coming up in the State."
Giving details of forthcoming projects in Punjab, Badal said that ITC was coming up with a Rs 1,000 crore food park in Kapurthala. She further added,"we are also promoting establishment of a cold chain for which we are giving a subsidy of Rs 10 crore besides creation of modern processing centres for milk, fruits and vegetables."
Urging farmers to add value to their crops she said that they could also form small self help groups for this purpose. Making out a case for diversifying from paddy cultivation, Badal said that the need of the hour was to add value to fruits and vegetables grown in Punjab.
Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal said that diversification would become a reality with creation of more food parks including the one coming up in Kapurthala
He lauded the food park promoters for providing more than 700 jobs to local youth and said more youngsters would be employed in the park once other companies also established their units in the 55 acre facility.
The 55 acre food park has come up at a cost of Rs 136 crore having facilities for processing milk and milk products besides packaging vegetables and fruits.