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India food hub roll out continues

By Rod Addy , 24-Sep-2012

Odisha has a rich history, but is also looking to the future of food processing
Odisha has a rich history, but is also looking to the future of food processing

The roll out of a network of food and drink processing hubs in India is on track, with the latest Mega Food Park site confirmed at Malipada in the state of Odisha.

The state’s government has announced investment in the area in order to build a food processing centre that is intended eventually to employ 10,000 people. The development of the centre is supported with investment from the Government of India.

The hub is expected to be operational within two years and the Indian government hopes it will establish Odisha as an international destination for the food processing industry.

Plans for the centre have been debated for years, but were awaiting final approval and support. Now, the initiative has been given the go-ahead.

Supply chain efficiency

Other core aims are that it should help businesses on the site share resources more sustainably and improve supply chain efficiency.

MITS group, a respected local business house, is taking the lead in coordinating the project and has set up a special project group M/S MITS Mega Food Park to work on that.

The Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation and local government are also involved in steering the project.

In addition, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, a recently formed body with responsibility for food processing sector development in Odisha, is also overseeing the progress of the site.

Network of collection centres

“The Mega Food Park is an inclusive concept which is aimed at establishing direct linkages from the farm to processing and on to the consumer markets, through a network of collection centres and primary processing centres,” states MITS Mega Food Park on its website.

“Mega Food Parks are comprehensive industrial estates for food processing units where the industries would have provision of common facilities like infrastructure; cold storage; cold chain; effluent treatment plant; warehousing; power connection; water facilities; sewerage ...”

Facilities at the Mega Food Park could include individually quick frozen units, aseptic juicing and packaging areas, vacuum drying and cocoa processing.

The Indian government has cleared plans to build up to 10 such food processing hubs across the country.

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