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Nagaland

INR 50 cr. sanctioned for Mega Food Park project in Nagaland

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By Esther Verma Updated: Jul 20, 2019 11:36 pm
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A view of the Mega Food Park under construction at Doshehe village in Bamunpukhuri 1 (Chümoukedima block) in Dimapur. (EM Images)


Esther Verma

Dimapur, July 19 (EMN): A Mega Food Park (MFP) project, which aims at boosting the economy of Nagaland as well as its farmers, food processors and retailers in the state’s food industry, is on the anvil.

Doys Agri Resources Pvt. Ltd. has received a substantial investment from the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI) in the form of grants for establishing a Mega Food Park (MFP) under the ministry’s mega food park scheme (MFPS) after it was approved for Nagaland in August 16, 2017.

According to the ministry’s website, a total of INR 50 cr. was approved by the centre to the company out of which INR 29.78 cr. has been released—while the total expenditure is claimed to be INR 46.44 cr. as of July 1, 2019.

The primary objective of the scheme (75% of project cost granted by the ministry) is to provide state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities for food processing by bringing farmers, processors and retailers together in one platform to ensure maximising value addition, minimising wastage, increasing farmer’s income and creating employment opportunities.

In this MFP, food processing units are to be part of a central processing centre (CPC) where cleaning, grading, sorting, packaging, pre-cooling chambers, pressure ventilators, variable humidity stores, specialised storage facilities and many other facilities would be provided (according to guidelines of MFPS).

The guidelines for an MFP also states that the entity that is taking up the project must enable basic infrastructure which includes drainage, water supply, electricity supply including captive power plant sewage treatment and many others at the CPC and primary processing centre (PPC).

Other non-core infrastructures should include administrative buildings, training centres, display/trade centres, workers’ hostel, marketing support system and others.

With a 30-month period to complete the project, the mega food park located at Doshehe village in Bamunpukhuri 1 (Chümoukedima block) in Dimapur seems nowhere near completion — the deadline of which has been calculated to be February 2020.

On visiting the site on July 18, Eastern Mirror found out that the work was far from satisfactory.

Around ten units were under construction in a sprawling area at Doshehe village, with a couple of machineries that seemed to have been untouched and some were yet to be unpacked.

Apart from that, there were no other visible signs of development.

Under the Creation of Expansion of Food Processing and Preservation Capacities (CEFPPC) scheme of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMSKY), four units under Doys Agri Resource Pvt. Ltd.— the parent company undertaking the MFP project—have been approved.

Under the CEFPPC, an amount of INR 7.44 cr., for three units has already been released to Doys Agri in 2018. These units were nowhere to be seen, with no employees or production taking place at the MFP.

Owner of Doys Agri Resources Pvt. Ltd. and former minister of Nagaland, Lt. Col. Doshehey Y Sema spoke to Eastern Mirror on the same day of the visit via telephone.

Sema claimed that all the workers during the visit on July 18 had gone for lunch and would come back after 3 pm, and later argued that it was “too hot” to work. He also claimed that almost all the machineries had arrived.

During a second conversation with Sema, via a social media app, he cited the “odds of the land” for the delay; while asserting that they were still trying to finish ahead of the deadline.

“I am trying to do something vibrant for the state but literally we fight against nature, on top of that nothing is available in the Northeast,” said Sema and added that machineries are still in transit but delayed because of the floods in Assam, Bihar and West Bengal.

When asked about the lack of infrastructure and road conditions not being developed in the last 24 months inside the MFP, even though money was released, Sema stated that iron structures from Delhi had reached the site and would not take much time.

He also claimed that engineers were at the site for more than a month but owing to rains, they could not work and went back. “I am requesting them to come back,” said Sema.

On pointing out that completion of a full-fledged MFP in the next seven months seems a far cry from what was intended, Sema asserted that he will get it done as he had taken up the project at the cost of his political career and displeasing “his people” by not contesting the elections.

A senior official from the department of Industries and Commerce, Nagaland also told Eastern Mirror that a physical verification of the proposed MFP in Dimapur was conducted in May; and Sema was asked to submit his status to the ministry.

“We do not have much hand in this MFP but we would like to support private companies that take up the work earnestly and do it for the people,” said the official.

Furthermore, the source stated that sensitisation about the MFP to the public is conducted during various seminars and programmes organised by the department.

As of now, the MOFPI has stated that 16 MFP’s are functional in the country, out of the proposed 42.

6126
By Esther Verma Updated: Jul 20, 2019 11:36:58 pm