Inaugurating the food processing unit located in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, through video conference on 9 September 2020, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, union minister for Food Processing Industries (FPI) said that the food processing sector is witnessing robust growth and has been identified as a champion sector by the Government of India. This food processing unit is expected to leverage Rs 50.33 crore investment and 5000 farmers will be benefitted. She added that the diverse basket of agricultural raw material base and agro-climatic attributes of UP provide the state’s requisite platform to develop a vibrant food processing industry. Rameswar Teli, MoS, FPI, Pushpa Subrahmanyam, secretary MoFPI, and organic India promoters were also present during the virtual inauguration.
Badal urged the unit’s promoters to experiment and invest further into new innovative products in the organic segment of the food processing sector. She appreciated the promoters for setting up a manufacturing plant in UP to export an array of tea products to about 30 countries. She further said that with the promoters having obtained all necessary global certifications, their mission of making organic products of India globally famous would be a boost to India’s vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat and Make in India campaign. She added that the food processing sector offers a huge potential for the export of value-added items, which will not only earn foreign exchange but will also create employment in the domestic market. She shared that the FDI data for 2019-2020 shows a whopping increase of 44% over 2018-19. She informed that the food processing sector has grown at the AAGR of around 8.41%.
Unit to create direct and indirect employment
The unit, namely Organic India, is likely to generate direct employment of 100 and indirect employment of 250 persons. Organic India is set up with a total cost of Rs 55.13 crore. The Ministry has provided a grant in aid of Rs 4.80 crore. A processing capacity of 3 MT per day has been created, and the unit will process agro produce worth Rs 350 crore. In this unit, products manufactured are tulsi green tea, sweet lemon green tea, lemon ginger green tea, pomegranate green tea, sweet rose, and tulsi masala. It is spread over 12,903 sqm, 3.18 acres in Agro Park Phase-II, UPSIDC Industrial Area, Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh.
Highlighting the food processing potential in Uttar Pradesh, Badal said that the diverse basket of agricultural raw material base and agro-climatic attributes of UP provide the state’s requisite platform to develop a vibrant food processing industry. She added that the food processing sector could become an essential link between the state economy, agriculture, and industry. She further said that this sector could address the significant challenges in agriculture, such as post-harvest losses, lack of marketing options, low income of farmers, and providing employment opportunities to the rural population.
Speaking about the initiatives of MoFPI, Union Minister shared that to improve ‘Ease of Doing Business’, MOFPI has implemented an array of initiatives using IT tools. She said that all information about the schemes, essential reports about the sector, investment-related information, and options to apply under the relevant scheme online had been made available at MoFPI Website. She urged all to “Click” and “Connect” with the Ministry and assured that their applications would be processed in a transparent and time-bound manner.
Addressing at the inauguration, Teli congratulated the unit’s promoters for setting up this food processing unit that would benefit the farmers and provide employment to the people of the region. He further said that this project would play a vital role in the development of the surrounding areas. Teli added that a robust food processing sector is essential for developing agriculture, value addition, and promotion of exports.