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Rajasthan’s first mega food park in Ajmer (Relevant for GS Prelims)

The first mega food park in Rajasthan has been opened at Roopangarh Village in Ajmer. The Food Park is being set up at a cost of Rs 113.57 crore and will benefit around 25,000 farmers in Ajmer as well as neighbouring districts.

Mega Food Parks

The Mega Food Parks Scheme is a scheme of the Ministry of Food Processing, Government of India. Its purpose is to increase processing of perishables from 6% to 20%.

The idea behind the promotion of mega food parks is that small- and medium-scale individual food-processing units cannot afford to invest in capital-intensive support services such as food testing, irradiation, grading, waxing, etc.

In food parks, common support services are arranged for food-processing units. Thus, these services become affordable to them. Further, financial assistance is provided by the government to establish common facilities.

Highlights of the scheme

The government provides grants up to Rs.50 crore for each food park to a consortium of companies.

Around 30–35 food-processing units are expected to be established in each mega food park with a collective investment of at least Rs.250 crore.

A turnover of Rs.400–500 crore and employment generation of at least 30,000 from each mega food park is expected.

A sanction of 42 food parks has been planned. According to the government, as of October 2016, eight mega food parks have become operational and all 42 would be operational in the next 2 years.

(Adapted from PIB)

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