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Odisha Eludes Agro Processing Clusters

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Bhubaneswar: While the Union Government is allowing more and more Agro Processing Clusters in the Country, Odisha is missing chances continuously.

Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has been implementing the Scheme for Creation of Infrastructure for Agro Processing Clusters (APC).

Till date MoFPI has approved 56 projects under the scheme, while Odisha has got none.

This is done under the Umbrella Scheme Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) to incentivize in setting up of Agro Processing Clusters in the country.

Under the Scheme, processing/preservation infrastructure like cold storage, pre-cooling chambers, ripening chambers, IQF, specialized packaging, Food testing laboratory, cleaning/ grading/sorting and packing facilities, steam generation boilers, warehouses etc. are being created as part of cluster approach for use of food processing units to be / being set up under these projects.

The Scheme envisages grants-in-aid @35% of eligible project cost in general areas.

However @50% of eligible project cost in the North East States (including Sikkim) and difficult areas namely Himalayan States/UTs (i.e. Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and Uttarakhand), State notified ITDP areas, Islands and SC/ST entrepreneurs subject to max. of Rs. 10.00 crore per project.

Further, MoFPI has been implementing a separate scheme for development of Mega Food Parks (MFPs).

So far, MoFPI has sanctioned 37 MFPs and given in-principle approval for 2 MFPs in the country.

In Bihar, MoFPI has approved one project in Begusarai district of Bihar under APC scheme and one project in Khagadia district of Bihar under MFP scheme.

However, no agro processing cluster or mega food park project has been approved by this Ministry in West Champaran and Aurangabad districts, officials say.

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