A mega food park is being set up in Rayagada district, the upcoming industrial hub in southern Odisha, to promote food-processing industry. The proposed food park will provide facilities for 16 types of food-processing units.
The project, funded by the Union agriculture ministry, is being set up in public private participation (PPP) mode. Around Rs 200 crore will be invested to create infrastructure. The state-run Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation and a few private organisations, including Expo Bio-Tech Limited, Keventor Agro Limited and Basanta Devi Charitable Trust, have come together to create a new organisation that will oversee the project.
The park will have its major primary processing centres at Khurda, Nawarangpur and Gopalpur in Ganjam. In subsequent phases, primary processing centres will also be set up in Koraput, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Subarnapur, Ganjam, Gajpati, Malkangiri, Boudh and Kandhamal districts. Besides, collection centres will be established in each block of these districts.
Potential sectors included maize, rice, dairy industry, poultry, spices, fruits and vegetables, mango pulp, tomato puree, grains-milling and processing such as breakfast cereals, coffee, cashew processing, pickle industry, tamarind processing, ready-to-eat food products, soft drinks and natural juice.
Significantly, the project is being established in the undivided Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) region, which has a rich potential for food-processing industries.
A fruit-processing unit was earlier set up by the Odisha horticulture department at Chatikona in Rayagada district in the foothills of the Niyamgiri hills. However, the unit was closed because of lack of marketing linkage.