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Government to treble food processing sector to reduce wastage

New Delhi, September 22 (Calcutta Tube) The government said Wednesday it is envisaging trebling the size of country’s food processing sector by raising the level of processing of perishables, value addition and share in global food trade by 2015.

A vision document finalised by the ministry of food processing industries envisages increasing the level of processing of perishables from 6 percent to 20 percent,value addition of agro products from 20 to 35 percent and share in global food trade from 1.5 to 3 percent .

A ministry release pointed out that agriculture produces worth an estimated Rs. 30,000 crore go waste at various stages during and after harvesting due to fragmented farming, lack of cold chains, transportation and processing facilities.

It said the ministry of food processing industries (MFPI) has been implementing various schemes to promote and develop the food processing sector.

They include schemes for development of infrastructure by way of promoting mega food park, establishment of cold chain facilities, modernization of abattoirs and various centres for value addition.

The ministry’s schemes also include those for supporting the upgradation and modernisation of the technologies of food processing industries, the release added.

It said the ministry also extends financial assistance to entrepreneurs to the tune of 25 percent of the cost of plant and machinery and for technical civil works subject to a maximum of Rs.50 lakh in general areas.

In difficult areas like northeastern states, the assistance is to the tune of 33.33 percent subject to a maximum of Rs.75 lakh, it said adding the help is given in the form of grant in aid.

–Indo-Asian news Service

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