Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Punjab Deputy CM Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal today laid the foundation stone of Mega Food Park at village Ladhowal, near here. This is the first of its kind Mega Food Park of the state, which is being developed by the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation of the Punjab government.While speaking on the occasion, Mrs Harsimrat Kaur Badal suggested that this project be named as "Gurkirpal Mega Food Park" because the speed at which Punjab has witnessed all-round record development is due to the "Kirpa" of our "Guru". She said that this Multi Product Mega Food Park is the gift of the Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi to Punjab and will give benefit to farmers and processors of Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib, Rupnagar, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Jalandhar, Moga, Sangrur and Barnala districts of the state. Badal informed that this Mega Food Park will be set up with the project cost of Rs 117.61 crore in an area of 100.20 acres. The park will have facilities of 500 kg/Spiral Freezer, 1000 MT Cold Store of Onion and Garlic, 1000 MT Frozen cold store of Vegetable produce, 10000 MT Dry Warehouse, 10000 MT Silos, 100 MT Ripening Chamber (ECRC), 1 MT/Hr Dehydration Line (Air dried), 400 MT Cold Storage, Reefer Vans, Food Incubation Center (ICRESAT) and Testing Laboratory.
While providing further information, Mrs Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that in order to give an impetus to the growth of the Food Processing Sector in Punjab, Ministry has approved three Mega Food Parks in the state. Out of these three, first Mega Food Park at Fazilka has already become operational, the foundation stone of a second Mega Food Park promoted by Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Ltd was laid today and the third Mega Food Park (M/s Sukhjit Mega Food Park) has been approved by the Ministry in Kapurthala District, the foundation stone of which would be laid next month.She further stated that under the visionary guidance of Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries is focusing on boosting the Food Processing Industry so that agriculture sector grows exponentially and becomes the engine of growth to drive the “Make in India” initiative of the Hon’ble Prime Minister. Ministry of Food Processing Industries has identified creation of modern infrastructure for food processing as a focus area and is encouraging private investment. As a step in this direction, Ministry of Food Processing Industries has been implementing the Mega Food Park Scheme in the country to give a major boost to the Food Processing Sector along the value chain from the farm to the market with strong forward and backward linkages through a cluster based approach.Further providing information about this Mega Food Park at Ladhowal (Ludhiana), she stated that it would be treated as a central processing centre and four primary processing centres- at Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Fazilka and Bathinda would also be set up.
She said that this project would not only help the farmers, but would also generate job avenues for our youth.While speaking on the occasion, Deputy CM Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal said that this Mega Food Park project will create a modern infrastructure for arresting post-harvest losses of horticultural and non-horticultural produce and provide impetus to the growth of food processing sector in Punjab. This Mega Food Park project will help in providing better prices to farmer, reduce wastage of perishables, add value to agricultural produce and create huge opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment for the youth of the state. He said that more than 40,000 farmers would be benefited from this project and more than 10,000 youth would get employment.Later, while speaking to media persons, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal said that during the last 9 years, the state has witnessed record development in all fields and during the rule of Capt Amarinder Singh, there was not even a single project which the Congressmen can claim as their achievement. He said that the Congress has already conceded defeat and SAD-BJP would form government for the third time a row due to its record development. While terming Aam Aadmi Party as Anti-Punjab, he said that like the Congress, even AAP cannot boast of any of their achievements, because there is none. He also said that the formation of any political front would not have any impact on the SAD-BJP combine.
Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti also termed this Mega Food Park as a gift for the Punjabis and said that it would boost the economy of the state. She alleged that it was due to the anti-farmer policies of the UPA government that the farmers are suffering. Agriculture Minister Mr Tota Singh also thanked the Union Government and Union Food Processing Industries Minister Mrs Harsimrat Kaur Badal for this project.Prominent among those present on the occasion included Irrigation Minister Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Advisor to CM Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, MLA's Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik, Mr Manpreet Singh Ayali, Mr Ranjit Singh Dhillon, Mr SR Kler, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Chairman Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, Punjab Agro Foodgrains Corporation Chairman Mr Dyal Singh Kolianwali, Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board chairman Mr Santa Singh Umedpuri, former minister Mr Hira Singh Gabria, ex MLA's Mr Ranjit Singh Talwandi and Mr Jagjiwan Singh Khirnia, Mr Madan Lal Bagga, Mr Harbhajan Singh Dang, BJP District President Mr Ravinder Arora, Mayor Mr Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, MD Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Mr Kahan Singh Pannu, Deputy Commissioner Mr Ravi Bhagat, besides several others.