Government to Set Up 250 Agro-Processing Clusters across India

The Centre plans to establish 250 small agro-processing clusters at an estimated cost of over Rs 5000 crore, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal confirmed. After getting the approvals, the Food Processing Ministry will invite expressions of interest from both public and private players.

"We are looking to establish small agro-processing clusters near producing area of one specific fruit or vegetable. So, if someone wants to establish small processing cluster like for onion, he can do that and the government will provide subsidy of up to Rs 5 crore per cluster," Badal confirmed.

The idea behind this proposal is to take the processing at doorstep of the farmers so that their income is raised and wastage is reduced. This approach will help in checking the rise in prices. The blue print has been prepared to set up 250 such small clusters and each cluster will need an investment of about Rs 20 crore.

"With this, India has started moving toward zero tolerance of food wastages. The new addition of processing capacity will reduce wastage of fruits and vegetables worth Rs 9,000 crore per annum because the same value of these commodities can now be processed," she added.