Topic of the Day – Mega Food Parks Scheme

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Mega Food Parks Scheme

Government schemes are an important part of the UPSC exam polity and governance syllabus. Mega Food Parks Scheme is an important scheme of the Central government. Therefore, it assumes a lot of importance for the IAS exam. 

Mega Food Parks Scheme launched by the government in 2008 provides financial assistance upto 50 crores to setup modern infrastructure facilities for food processing called Mega Food Parks. It establishes a mechanism to bring together farmers, processors and retailers and link agriculture production to the market so as to ensure maximization of value addition, minimization of wastage and improving farmers’ income.

The primary objective of the Scheme is to provide modern infrastructure facilities for the food processing along the value chain from the farm to the market with a cluster based approach based on a hub and spokes model.  It includes the creation of infrastructure for primary processing and storage near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) and Collection Centres (CCs) and common facilities and enabling infrastructure like roads, electricity, water, ETP facilities etc. at Central Processing Centre (CPC). These PPCs and CCs act as aggregation and storage points to feed raw material to the food processing units located in the CPC. 

Collection Centres:

  • The CCs work as a point of aggregation of the produce from individual farmers, farmer groups and Self Help Groups (SHGs).
  • They feed the raw materials to PCCs.
  • They are mostly managed by local entrepreneurs. They serve as farm level aggregation points for adjoining areas.

Primary Collection Centres:

  • The PCCs work as primary handling centres which use the raw materials to be processed further in the CPC. 
  • A PCC serves a number of CCs in the proximity.
  • they provide primary processing facilities such as weighing, sorting, grading, washing, crating and storage of the produce.

Central Processing Centre:

  • CPC is an industrial park in a large area and houses a number of processing units owned by different business houses.
  • The park shall provide common facilities such as electricity, water and effluent treatment besides specialised services such as warehousing, cold storage, logistics and backward integration through the network of primary processing centres and collection centres.

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