Ahmedabad, May 9: Gujarat government today announced its 'Agri Business Policy-2016' with a special emphasis on promoting food processing industry, applying new techniques to convert agriculture waste into value-added products and developing the entire value chain of exporting locally grown farm produces.
The new policy was announced by Chief Minister Anandiben Patel while inaugurating this year's 'Krishi Mahotsav' in Anand town of Kheda district.
In her address, Patel said the policy aims at increasing farmers' income by strengthening agriculture-related infrastructure and promoting food processing industry, which at present provides employment to around 10 lakh people in the state, an official press release stated.
As per the policy document, any new projects of agro food processing will get 25 per cent subsidy, maximum of Rs 50 lakh, on the total cost of establishing or upgrading such units in the state.
Projects related to cold chain, food e-radiation, packaging houses and food parks will get 25 per cent subsidy in the limit of Rs 5 crore, on the total cost of establishment of any such unit.
Further, government will give 25 per cent subsidy, having maximum limit of Rs 2.5 crore, on the total cost of setting up primary processing or collection centre of farm produces at village level, it stated. The policy also provides for cheap term loans for entrepreneurs wanting to establish or upgrade food processing units.
The government will give loan up to Rs 1.5 crore at 7.5 per cent interest rate. Various agri-infrastructure projects, such as cold storage, are also eligible to get loans up to Rs 4 crore at 7.5 per cent interest rate, the policy document states.
To promote export of agriculture, marine and poultry products, the government has also announced subsidies on the freight paid by exporters who fall into the category of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME).
Such products sent through the food cargo complex at Ahmedabad airport are now eligible to get 25 per cent subsidy, in the limit of Rs 10 lakh, on the total air freight paid on the export. Similar rate of subsidy is applicable on exports of fresh farm produces through sea route, the policy document stated.