Food Processing Sector is the focus area of investment in Punjab. And that is why the state government has formed a separate department of Food Processing Industries to look after the schemes of National Mission on Food Processing, launched by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) for the 12th five year plan.
Three Mega Food Parks have been approved by MoFPI in Punjab, which are being implemented by International Mega Food Park Limited in district Fazilka, Sukhjit Starch & Chemicals Limited in district Kapurthala and Punjab Agro Industries Corporation in district Ludhiana. Punjab’s first Mega Food Park was inaugurated on 13th December 2014 in Fazilka by Union Food Processing Industry Minister, Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal. The capital outlay of Rs. 136 crore was involved in setting up the first Mega Food Park and it is spread over 55 acres of land.
As promised by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, Rs. 140.50 crore Mega Food Park is ready to be set up at Ladhowal on 100 acres of land. Mr. K.S. Pannu, Managing Director, Punjab Agro Industrial Corporation said segregation of the land at Ladhowal and its station survey has been done and is all set to commence.
The primary objective of the park is to provide modern infrastructure facilities for the food processing along the value chain from farm to market. It will include creation of Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) at Ladhowal and Primary Processing Centres at identified fruits and vegetables clusters, including Malerkotla, Shahkot, Sultanpur Lodhi, and village Sandhwan. The Mega Food Park aims at providing a mechanism to link agricultural production to the market.
Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) will have facilities like individual quick freezing unit for vegetables, dry warehouse for raw material, steel silos for food grains, controlled atmospheric cold store, pre-cooling chambers, ripening chambers, deep freezers, reefer vans, milk chilling unit, weigh bridge, steam power generating unit, food incubation centre and testing laboratory. The basic infrastructure like road connectivity, water supply, drainage and electricity supply will also be developed according to the requirements of the companies planning to set up manufacturing plants in the Mega Food Park.
According to Mr. K.S. Pannu, 60 acres of land would be developed for food processing units and remaining 40 acres for development of common facilities. Also about 30-40 food processing units processing frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen french fries, milk, maize, bakery products, wheat pasta, tomato, chillies, snack food, eggs, malt, honey and turmeric would be set up in the Food Park.
To accelerate growth of food processing industry in Punjab, the state government has made tremendous efforts and has excelled in the domain too. The steps taken by Punjab government will definitely result in massive transformation in the agriculture sector in the state.