Goa to have mega food park, modern abattoir, food testing lab:Sahai

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Panaji, Aug 9 (UNI) Goa will soon have a mega food park, modern abattoir and food-testing laboratory besides research and development facilities for encouraging value added products for local fruits.

Announcing these projects for the state in presence of Chief Minister Digambar Kamat here today, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahai said the Centre was ready to give Rs 50 crore financial assistance for the foodpark and Rs 15 crore for the meat complex.

The minister also asked the state to identify a cold chain project for marine processing with a Central assistance upto Rs 10 crore and two food promotion training centres with Rs 15 lakh assistance for each.

At the same time, he urged the authorities to come up with concrete proposals, for which the ministry Is ready to extend financial assiatance under different schemes as part of its drive to encourage the food processing sector in the country.

Stating that Goa could be declared as a ''safe food town'', the minister said the Centre will launch a campaign and impart training to the stakeholders for the purpose.

This is part of development of one food street one each in North and the South Goa linked with tourism for upgradation of infrastructure for supplying wholesome and hygienic food, he said.

He assured cent per cent assistance for opening a laboratory for food testing in Goa and R &D projects for developing value added products for cashew nuts, kokum, jackfruit and pineapple grown locally. This includes promotion of processing of Feni (an alcoholic drink made from cashew) and wine prepared locally through cashew/coconut and grapes.

Mr Sahai further urged the private sector to start degree or diploma courses in food technology in the university, for which they could get Rs 75 lakh assistance.

He also gave an assurance to the chief minister that his ministry would open organic farms with the APEDA assistance and certification will be given for the same.

Asked how agriculturally dismal Goa could get the raw material for the mega food park and other projects, he said it could outsource from neighbouring states.

The state could adopt a cluster approach, if land resource was the constraint for opening a mega food park in Goa.

Reacting to the offer of liberal central assistance, chief minister said it could go a long way in development of the state.

Proposal of the state Industrial Development Corporation for opening a mega food park at Quittol in South Goa was pending, he added.

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