Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, minister of state for food processing industries, inaugurated Sikaria Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd at Village Tulakona in Agartala on Wednesday. This is the first mega food park in Tripura. The inauguration took place in the presence of state chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb.

The mega food park has been set up in 50 acre of land at the cost of Rs 87.45 crore. The Centre has accorded approval of a financial assistance of Rs 50 crore to the project. The food park has such facilities as a fully-operational dry warehouse and material handling of 5,000 MT (metric tonne), a pineapple canning and a pulping line of 2 MT per hour each, a packing unit, ripening chambers of 40 TPD (tonne per day), cold storage of 5,000 MT with frozen storage of 1,000 MT, quality control, research and development (R&D) centre, etc.

It also has fully-developed industrial plots for setting up processing units and standard design factory (SDF) sheds to provide ready to move in facility for micro and small enterprises. The park also has a common administrative building for office and other uses by the entrepreneurs and five parimary processing centres (PPCs) at Sonamura, Hrisyamukh, Chandipur, Manu and Budhjung Nagar, having facilities for primary processing and storage near the farms.

The mega food park will leverage an additional investment of about Rs 250 crore in 25-30 food processing units in the park and generate a turnover of about Rs 450-500 crore annually. The park will also provide direct and indirect employment to 5,000 people and benefit about 25,000 farmers in the CPC (central processing centre) and PPC catchment areas.

Speaking on the occasion, Jyoti said, “In 2014, there were only two MFPs, which were inadequate to meet the demands of the farmers of the country, who have always faced the problem of storage of their produce and its processing.”

She added that upon taking over in 2014, the government had promised that it would give this country 42 mega food parks. The minister said that she was happy to announce that the 17th mega food park has been inaugurated in Tripura and expressed confidence that the other mega food parks would also be operationalised and dedicated to the country soon.

Jyoti said that this Mega Food Park was approved in 2011 but it faced a lot of problems in implementation. She added that within a year of taking over the state government, Tripura’s chief minister provided all clearances which has resulted in operationalisation of this mega food park.