Lucknow, Jun 16 (IANS): Food processing has become the preferred sector for industrialists for investment in Uttar Pradesh.
The 'ease of doing business' in Uttar Pradesh is clearly evident in the food processing industry in the state.
According to the government spokesman, a number of big industrialists from within the country and abroad have taken the initiative of setting up their own food processing units in the state.
In the past four years, these industrialists have submitted proposals to the government to set up 139 food processing units (factories) at a cost of Rs 9105.58 crore, out of which 101 food processing factories have already started production.
With a total amount of Rs 4,074.02 crore spent on establishing these food processing factories, it has provided employment opportunities to as many as 20,176 people.
This is for the first time in the history of Uttar Pradesh when such a huge investment has been made in the field of food processing.
The spokesman said that the construction work for 38 factories is under process which is expected to start production by the end of 2021.
With an investment of Rs 5,031.31 crore, these factories will generate employment for an additional 21,111 people.
The companies that have invested in Uttar Pradesh include SLMG Private Limited in Lucknow - Rs 300 crore, BL Agro in Bareilly - Rs 160 crore, Khattar Edibles Private Limited in Rampur - Rs 150 crore, Organic India Private Limited Plant in Barabanki - Rs 55 crore, Patanjali Ayurveda Limited in Gautam Buddha Nagar - Rs 2,118 crore, Pepsico in Mathura - Rs 514 crore and Haldiram Snacks Pvt Ltd in Gautam Buddha Nagar - Rs 490 crore.
Uttar Pradesh is a state with immense potential and is the largest producer of sugarcane, pointed gourd, peas, potato, musk (Kasturi), watermelon, pumpkin, and milk in the country and yet no efforts were made to promote investment in the food processing sector by the previous governments, the spokesman said.
To promote the establishment of food processing industries and ensure a fair price, the Yogi Government implemented the 'U.P. Food Processing Industry Policy -2017'.
Under this policy, all the facilities were given to small and big industrialists and a rebate in capital subsidy and interest was also announced.
Due to the relaxation given in the food processing policy, many proposals for the construction of cold storages, pack houses, onion warehouses, and the establishment of flour mills (grain milling) were made.
Now units are being set up for products made from milk in Aligarh, Bareilly, Bulandshahr, Kanpur Dehat, Jaunpur, and Mathura, ghee in Aurraiya and Kasganj, green chillies in Varanasi and Deoria, mangoes in Amroha, Lucknow and Sitapur, 'Kala Namak' rice in Siddhartha Nagar, Basti, Gorakhpur, banana chips in Kushinagar, potatoes and other crops in Purvanchal.
Similarly, in view of the cultivation of maize in western and central Uttar Pradesh, the state government's emphasis is on setting up maize-based food processing units.
The government is contemplating of bringing a revised food processing policy so that Uttar Pradesh can become India's top state in this sector and further accelerate the establishment of new units of food processing in the state.