Subsidy for food processing in Bihar
Entrepreneurs and farmers willing to set up micro food-processing units in Bihar will get 50 per cent of the project cost of around Rs 25 lakh.
Units with the capacity to process 300 metric tonnes of agricultural produce in a year are categorised as micro units. They have to be set up under the Centre-sponsored mission for integrated development of horticulture (MIDH).
agriculture minister Prem Kumar said, "While 40 per cent of the subsidy amount, around Rs 10 lakh, would come from the MIDH, the state government would provide additional 10 per cent subsidy (roughly Rs 2.5 lakh) for setting up units under this scheme." The scheme, he said, also allows entrepreneurs to set up mobile processing units.
Those interested to set up units under the MIDH scheme will have contact the district horticulture officer.
"The scheme looks good but implementation will test its strength," said an industrialist. "Steps should first be taken for complete transparency and officials and banks should be given a time limit for clearing or rejecting any project."
Around 30 per cent of fruits and vegetables produced in Bihar get damaged between production and marketing, and the micro units are meant to battle that.
The state produced 42.30 lakh metric tonnes of fruits and 166 lakh metric tonnes of vegetables in 2016-17.
The state government, under its third agricultural roadmap period (2017-22), aims to take the production of fruits to 42.75 lakh metric tonnes vegetables to 252.08 lakh metric tonnes. The minister said the micro units would also be of great help for basic processing of the economically lucrative maize crop. The state produced 38.46 lakh metric tonnes of maize in 2016-17 and aims to produce 90.65 lakh tonnes in 2022.
The processing unit scheme will be in addition to two existing ones - subsidy for buying refrigerator trucks and setting up air-conditioned outlets - which too aim to minimise the damage of fruits and vegetables, an agriculture department official said.