On July 7, 2017, Union Food Processing Minister, Harsimrat Kaur Badal laid the foundation stone, of Punjab’s first maize based Food Park at Rehana Jattan village in Kaputhala District of Punjab. Ms. Badal mentioned that there is an urgent need to turn to maize and the government is working relentlessly to make maize as the third viable staple crop of Punjab after wheat and rice.
Approval for Punjab’s first maize-based food park:
Earlier, the permission to set up a mega food park was denied because the district was declared a ‘dark zone’ because of slow desertification and over-exploitation of water due to cash
- Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, she approached Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti and convinced her that since this would be a maize-based mega food park, it will promote much needed crop diversification in Punjab.
Details about Punjab’s first maize-based food park:
This food park will be set up on 55 acres, at the cost of Rs. 123 crore. The Union government is providing a financial assistance of Rs. 50 crore for the project.
- It is being developed by Sukhjit Mega Food Park and Infra Limited and will generate turnover of Rs 450 – 500 crore annually.
- The park will have facilities like multiple cold storage, deep freezer, warehouse, silos, sorting and grading yard and food testing laboratory.
- The promoter is also setting up an anchor unit with an investment of Rs 105 crore for maize processing with an installed grinding capacity of 500 tonnes a day.
- The park will have three primary procurement centres at SBS Nagar, Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar with primary processing and storage facilities.
- Badal has mentioned that this food park will give a push to maize cultivation in Doaba region and lead to increased income for farmers.
- The park will provide direct and indirect employment to 5,000 persons and benefit about 25000 farmers.