Reducing food wastage, empowering locals: Food processing unit inaugurated in Madhya Pradesh

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries inaugurated a new unit of food processing in Morena, Madhya Pradesh on September 12, 2021, in line with the Azadi ka Amrut Mohatsav celebrations in the country.

The unit was inaugurated by Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, Prahlad Singh Patel under the Cold Chain scheme of the Government. The Ministry was celebrating Food Processing Week from September 6 to 12 to celebrate the grand occasion of India @75. During this time, it inaugurated several units across the country. The food processing units are a good mediums for reducing food wastage, and job creations. The food processing industry which is expected to be worth over half a trillion dollars by 2025 will be benefited by this.

Cold Chain Scheme

Cold Chain, Value Addition, and Preservation Infrastructure, a central Government’s scheme, launched in 2008, is a component of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY). It was created to reduce post-harvest losses of horticulture and non-horticulture produce and provide remunerative prices to farmers for their produce.

The scheme aims to provide integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure facilities, without any break, from the farm gate to the consumer. Under it, an infrastructure facility is created for the entire supply chain, including pre-cooling, weighing, sorting, grading, packing facility, blast freezing, etc of agricultural produce. It was launched in 2008.

The integrated cold chain project is set up by partnership/ proprietorship firms, companies, corporations, cooperatives, self-help groups (SHGs), farmer producer organizations (FPOs), NGOs, Central / State PSUs, etc. As of September 2020, there are 8,186 cold storage with a capacity of 374.25 Lakh MT in the country for storing perishable horticulture produce like fruits and vegetables.

Development of Food Processing Industry

The Ministry has approved 41 mega food parks, 353 cold chain projects, 63 agro-processing clusters, 292 food processing units, 63 creation of backward and forward linkages projects, and 6 operation green projects across the country under the schemes of PMKSY.

This includes 62 cold chain projects in Maharasthra and 23 in Uttar Pradesh among others.

The Food Processing Industry has the potential to absorb the excess farm produce thereby benefiting the farmers and at the same time, convert the harvest into a value-added processed product that can meet the domestic as well as the global demand.

Benefit to locals

During the inauguration event, the Minister for Prahlad Singh Patel said that the processing unit will benefit everyone at the local level. The processing unit will add to the development of India’s food processing sector.

The unit will also provide direct and indirect employment to about 700 persons and benefit about 1,000 farmers in the Central Processing Centre (CPC) and Primary Processing Centers (PPC) catchment areas.

Recently, on September 7, 2021, five processing units in Gujarat (3), Karnataka (1), and Assam (1) were inaugurated. Then, six food processing projects in Maharashtra (3), Uttarakhand (1), and Haryana (2) units were inaugurated. The units not only provide employment and livelihood opportunities but also help in reducing food wastage.

Further, the unit also provides excellent state-of-the-art facilities such as packing machines, water treatment plants, water storage tanks, subsystems, fittings, etc.

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