Global Investors Meet 2019: Rs 2,000cr Indo-French Ultra-Mega Food Park Near Sriperumbdur

As part of its move to a major push to the food processing industry, the Tamil Nadu government on Thursday signed an MoU with an Indo-French venture, GSE Avigna, to set up a Rs2,000 crore food-park-cum-terminal-market near Sriperumbudur that is expected to generate 10,000 jobs.

The agriculture department also sanctioned Rs5.3 crore for land in the SIPCOT industrial growth centre at Gangaikondan in Tirunelveli for its first food processing park -- one of ten planned.

The private park near Sriperumbudur will source fruits, vegetables, meat and fish from across the state. “There is huge scope for food processing in the state. We have only a few units for processing marine fish and we need more,” said agriculture secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi. “Food processing is required for dairy and poultry. An exclusive food processing policy was unveiled recently offering special incentives,” he said.

The state’s urgency stems from the fact that foodgrain production stands at 120 lakh tonnes annually and fruits and vegetable production at 140 lakh tonnes. The state stands fourth in marine fish production and second in egg production in the country.

CII, southern region, Agri and Food Processing Task Force chairman P Ravichandran said Tamil Nadu with its strong manufacturing base was suitable for the food processing industry. “There is immense potential to double and triple production. What is really missing is capital and assessing different clusters of Tamil Nadu,” he said.

The state contributes 7% of India’s food processing output. “The state has a vast base of raw material and the export potential is waiting to be tapped,” said Agricultural Marketing and Agri Business commissioner S J Chiru. The state needs to developm further in post-harvest infrastructure and cold chain logistics.

The state has seven major agro-climatic zones, an advantage to grow any crop. Chiru said the state was in the advanced stage of enacting a contract farming law to give legal foundation to agri-businesses. The state had already agreed to agriculture marketing reforms to allow unified market, e-trading, private markets and direct marketing.

Source: The Times of India

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