Mega food park in Kerala takes number of food parks nationwide to 20

The centre on Thursday announced the setting up of Kerala's first and the nation's twentieth mega food park in Palakkad district of Kerala, as the government sees food processing as one of the major sectors of ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat” initiative. 

Union minister for food processing industries, agriculture and farmers welfare, rural development and panchayati raj Narendra Singh Tomar and Kerala chief minister Pinarai Vijayan inaugurated Kerala’s first food park in a virtual ceremony on Thursday.
The project will prove to be a milestone in the development of the food processing sector in Kerala and give impetus to industrialisation in the state, Tomar said. 
It will leverage an additional investment of about Rs250 crore in 25-30 food processing units in the park and would eventually lead to a turnover of about Rs450-500 crore annually. The park will also provide direct and indirect employment to 5,000 persons and benefit about 25,000 farmers in the CPC and PPC catchment areas, Tomar said.
The government has made food processing a major-thrust area of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat”. Twenty mega food parks in the country have been opened in collaboration with the centre, seventeen other projects have also been approved, including a park in the Alleppey district of Kerala.
Tomar said that we are proud of the farmers of our country and, due to their hard work, the country has sufficient stock of food grains, the needs of the countrymen are being fulfilled, food grains are in surplus. He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is continuously working to fill the gaps in the agriculture sector. He said an Agri Infra Fund of Rs one lakh crore has been announced, while Kisan Rail has been started as per the budget announcement.
Tomar said there is more potential in the export of value-added goods, which will not only earn foreign exchange but will also create employment opportunities in the domestic market. 
Further, as part of the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” campaign, the centre has launched a new scheme - PM Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME).
Minister of state for food processing industries Teli said the facilities created in the park will not only reduce wastage of agricultural produce but will also ensure value addition. With this, farmers will get better prices of their agriproducts and their income will also increase. He added that this will provide processing opportunities to farmers, self-help groups, and micro-entrepreneurs and create more employment opportunities in the surrounding areas.