Cabinet may clear food processing scheme soon
The World Bank will be giving Rs 1,500 crore, while Rs 1,000 crore will be provided by the Centre. State governments will put in Rs 500 crore.
Under the scheme that will initially run in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab, cottage industries, farmer organizations and individual food processors will be able to augment their current capacity, upgrade technology and strengthen the farm-to-market supply chain.
"The focus of the scheme is to encourage more than 70,000 enterprises to set up food processing units, upgrade technology in existing units, improve management of the units and give technical support," said the official.
About 66% of unorganised food processing units are in rural areas. It's a known fact that processing of food would double farmers' income and employment opportunities in rural areas, said the official.
"Women entrepreneurs/ processors will be given incentives too in the scheme. Most likely, 30% of the slots will be reserved for women. We are in discussion with banks to ensure that businesses run by women enterprises get easy loans too," said another official.
The World Bank will be giving Rs 1,500 crore, while Rs 1,000 crore will be provided by the Centre. State governments will put in 500 crore.
According to the Food Processing Ministry, the upper cap of subsidy to be given to a unit will be 10 lakh, apart from interest subsidy, if they take loans. The scheme will be run at the cluster level where food processing units or individual players can apply for the subsidy online.
Food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal had earlier said the sector is going to be one of the principal industries of India in future, due to rising disposable incomes.
In her second term, she had said that for the next five years employment generation is going to be her focus, especially in rural areas.
She had said that farmers should turn into job creators from being job seekers. The food processing sector has been growing at the rate of 10% to 12 % annually.