Millennium Post

Centre launches micro food processing scheme

New Delhi: Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said a 'one district, one product' cluster approach will be adopted while providing credit-linked subsidy for setting up 2 lakh micro processing units across the country under a Rs 10,000 crore central scheme launched on Monday.

The 'PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM-FME)' scheme aims to take "local brand to global" by addressing the challenges of credit, technology and retail market access, she said.

Strengthening of micro food processing units will lead to reduction in wastage, creation of off-farm job opportunities and help in achieving the overarching government objective of doubling farmers' income, she added. This was announced as part of the Rs 20 lakh crore package to tackle the economic slump resulting from COVID-19 pandemic.

"It is a historic day. We have launched the scheme. We will adopt a cluster approach of 'one district, one product (ODOP)' in terms of procurement of inputs, availing common services and marketing of products. States will have flexibility to decide," Badal said after the launch. The government, in a separate statement, said the scheme would generate a total investment of Rs 35,000 crore and create 9 lakh skilled and semi-skilled employment. It will benefit 8 lakh units through access to information, training, better exposure and formalization in the next five years.

Elaborating on the ODOP approach, the minister said states would identify food products for a district keeping in view the existing clusters and availability of raw materials.

The ODOP product could be a perishable product, cereal-based or a food product widely produced in a district and their allied sectors.

The products could be mango, potato, litchi, tomato, tapioca, kinnu, bhujia, petha, papad, pickle, millet-based products, fisheries, poultry, meat as well as animal feed, among others. Preference would be given to those producing ODOP products.

However, units producing other products would also be supported.

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