The government will soon launch an umbrella programme ‘SAMPADA’ for food processing sector with Rs 6,000 crore outlay to integrate current and new schemes aimed at reducing food wastage and doubling farmers’ income. Announcing this, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said her ministry would soon approach the Cabinet for the approval of ‘Scheme for Agro-Marine Produce Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters (SAMPADA).’
“We will shortly launch an umbrella scheme SAMPADA for overall development of the food processing sector. It will include ongoing schemes like mega food parks and cold chain projects as well as three new schemes that we will launch,” Badal told reporters here.
To create infrastructure for improving the entire food supply chain, three schemes- ‘Creation/ Expansion of Food Processing and Preservation Capacities’, ‘New Agro-Processing Clusters’ and ‘Backward and Forward Linkages’ are on anvil.
Badal said the government is taking steps to boost food processing sector as part of its objective to bring down post harvest losses preferably to zero level, provide quality food to consumers at cheaper price and for doubling of farmers’ income. The Centre has so far sanctioned 42 mega food parks and 234 cold chain projects with 139 lakh tonnes of preserving and processing capacity of agro-produce worth Rs 35,000 crore.
The post-harvest losses is estimated at Rs 92,000 crore annually, she said, adding that these food parks and cold chains would help in cutting this wastage. These projects, being set up with a total investment of about Rs 15,000 crore, will also generate employment for 3.5 lakh persons and benefit 15 lakh farmers.
“We are mapping all agro-clusters in the country. Under the new scheme, we will provide up to Rs 10 crore of subsidy grant for creating infrastructure at each of these clusters so that seamless transfer of food products from producing to consuming centres becomes a reality,” Badal said. The minister held an interaction with promoters of newly- allotted 101 Integrated Cold Chain Projects here.
Elaborating on proposed SAMPADA scheme, Special Secretary in the ministry Jagdish Prasad Meena said the Rs 6,000-crore programme will be implemented by 2019-20 fiscal. “This programme will help create infrastructure for linkage of entire supply chain,” he added.
Last month, food processing ministry sanctioned 101 new cold chain projects being set up by firms like Big Basket, Amul and Haldiram entailing Rs 3,100 crore in investments. The ministry’s grant-in-aid for these projects will be Rs 838 crore, while the remaining over Rs 2,200 crore will come from the private sector.