Jammu and Kashmir: Govt launches Rs 879-crore food processing project
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government is aiming to revolutionise the food-processing sector and transform the lives of farmers in the Union Territory by launching an ambitious project.
The ‘UT Level Food Processing Programme for Development of Clusters for Specific Products of J&K’ is a Rs 879.75-crore initiative that aims to maximise farmer income and minimise post-harvest losses, according to an official statement as quoted by ANI.
This comprehensive project has been designed to increase the competitiveness of seven identified products across categories in terms of cost, quality, branding, and sustainability within five years. The government is investing in value-addition, logistics, marketing and branding of various agriculture, horticulture and livestock products to achieve this goal, the statement released on Sunday evening said.
The project will focus on developing 17 districts in Jammu and Kashmir with the establishment of processing and marketing infrastructure, providing growth and development opportunities to stakeholders and facilitating suitable economies of scale in production and post-harvest activities.
The government has allocated a budget of Rs 879.75 crore for the project including a grant-in-aid of Rs 293.25 crore (33.33 per cent) and a debt-equity of Rs 586.50 crore to be raised by entrepreneurs. The statement said the project shall create 7,030 direct jobs and lead to establishment of 34 enterprises with expected revenue generation to the tune of Rs 1,436.04 crore every year.
“UT Level Food Processing Programme for Development of Clusters for Specific Products of J&K” is one among the 29 projects, which were approved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration after being recommended by the UT Level Apex Committee for holistic development of agriculture and allied sectors in UT of J&K. The committee is headed by Mangala Rai, Former DG, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), and has other luminaries in the field of agriculture, planning, statistics and administration like Ashok Dalwai, CEO NRAA; P K Joshi, Secretary, NAAS; Prabhat Kumar, horticulture commissioner the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare, H S Gupta, Former Director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI); Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, besides Vice Chancellors of twin agriculture universities of the UT, reported ANI.