**Bhubaneswar:** Interesting and engaging sessions on food processing organized on the second day of the Make in Odisha Conclave 2018 witnessed overwhelming participation from prominent officials from Ministry of Food Processing, MSME Department, pioneer representatives, industry leaders and entrepreneurs among others.
The session witnessed the launch of Directory of Assisted Food Processing Industries in Odisha for release of subsidy to food processing Industries. Further, representative of ITC announced investment of Rs 550 crore and Britannia Industries of Rs 60 crore in their existing plants in next 3 to 5 years.
Multiple policy initiatives were announced including extension of Capital investment Subsidy @ 33% of capital investment made in plant & machinery up to a limit of Rs 3 crore to Differently-abled, Technical Degree/Diploma holder entrepreneurs, providing subsidy to self financed food processing enterprises and units engaged in edible/non-edible vegetable oil mills including crushing and expelling of oilseeds and manufacturing of fruit pulp and/or juice out of it.
While setting the context, Additional Chief Secretary of MSME Department, LN Gupta, stated that Odisha, being a leading producer of food resources like cashew nuts, vegetables, shrimp, coconuts, rice, fish and spices, the state has a favourable potential for investment.
Amongst the other important factors, presence of various Food Processing Infrastructure projects, like Mega Food Parks in Deras, noteworthy scientific and technical institutes, like OUAT (Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology),CRRI (Central Rice Research Institute), CIFA (Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture), ample storage facilities, robust fish and sea food network were highlighted as prominent growth factors of Odisha.
The state enjoys proximity to densely populated centres like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh where there is a ready market for supplying poultry, fish, and seafood. Even proximity to ASEAN Countries for seafood exports is a bright possibility.
The surface & air connectivity of the state with rest of the country will also explore the indigenous market. Most importantly, it is blessed with a robust, dedicated and entrepreneur friendly Food Processing Policy and its guidelines which make Odisha more favourable for investing in its Food Processing sector.
Speakers in the session emphasized on present scenario, prospects, opportunities, ease of setting up in Food Processing Sector and shared their valuable experience.
Joint Secretary of Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Parag Gupta, spoke about ‘Operation Greens (Tomato, Onion and Potato)’ Scheme of MoFPI and asked potential investors to apply under the said scheme for which advertisement has already been issued, besides highlighting the opportunities in Food Processing Sector.
Minister for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, Prafulla Samal, said, “I would like to convey my heartiest welcome to the investors, industry leaders & entrepreneurs for encouraging Odisha’s effort to showcase Food Processing as a sustainable industry of the State. As you know Food Processing Sector, which falls under the ambit of MSME Department in our State, is growing at 8.5% rate which much faster than agricultural sector. Our primary aim is to create a platform for the various stakeholders to invest in this sector where both can mature together by providing a safe and stable environment for business development.”
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