Centre facing problems in implementing food park projects inBihar, WB

New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) The Centre is facing problems inimplementing mega food park projects in Bihar and West Bengalalthough these states have huge scope for food processing,Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said inRajya Sabha on Friday.

The government is promoting through various schemessetting up of mega food farms, cold chains, storage and otherfarm gate infrastructure besides pushing farmers from beingjust producers to processors, she said while responding toqueries during Question Hour.

'There is one mega food park in Bihar which according tome is under implementation. We have lot of trouble in Bihar toimplement the projects,' Badal said.

She also said, 'Bihar and West Bengal have lot of rawmaterial, lot of potential, but lot of difficulties inimplementing our projects over there.' On progress made in the Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADAYojana (PMKSY), the minister said only two parks werefunctional out of the 44 parks sanctioned prior to 2014. Thecurrent government made operational 15 food parks in the lastfive years, she said.

Total 17 mega food parks are operational in the countrynow, which are processing raw materials worth Rs 28 crore,generating employment to 17.5 lakh people, she added.

The minister also said it takes 24-30 months to set upmega food parks. 'Lot of projects are now nearing completion,'she added.

On food wastage, Badal said a 2015 study by the Ludhiana-based Central Institute of Post-harvest Engineering andTechnology (ICIPHET) has pegged losses at Rs 92,000 crore in45 commodities in seven agro-climatic regions.

Much of the losses are during post-harvest,transportation and storage, she said and added governmentschemes are focusing to address these issues. PTI LUXDV DV