‘Entry of MNCs will play a catalytic role in transforming rural and farm economy if they enter the retail market,’ said the minister
The government is also looking at a proposal to set up cold storage in existing mandis across the country for fresh fruits and vegetables to help farmers, she said.
The minister said India’s food economy is being transformed with the addition of 32 lakh tonnes of food processing capacity worth Rs 9,000 crore in the past two years, which is expected to reduce wastage by 10%.
The new addition of processing capacity (set up by the mega food parks) will reduce wastage of fruits and vegetables worth Rs 9,000 crore per annum because the same value of these commodities can now be processed,” Badal said.
“Food processing is an employment intensive sector and to facilitate investments, a single window facilitation cell has been created to handhold overseas and domestic investors in food processing sector,” she said.
She said the guidelines, which had to be issued by the commerce ministry, were likely to be announced shortly.
Badal said that her ministry is working to set up 250 small agro clusters, with the government giving a maximum grant of Rs 5 crore.
The ministry will be inviting expression of interest from public and private establishments, she said.
“The clusters will be established near the farms. So, if someone wants to establish a cluster for onion, he can do that and government will provide subsidy of up toRs 5 crore,” she said.