Govt conducts 3rd party evaluation of mega food park scheme

NEW DELHI, July 23: The Government on Friday informed Parliament that it has recently conducted a third-party evaluation of the Mega Food Park scheme.
“The functioning of the approved Mega Food Parks has been covered in the said evaluation,” Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Prahlad Singh Patel said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
The evaluation study broadly covered the aspects of the creation of food processing infrastructure, including setting up of food processing units and its impact on value addition and processing, reduction in post-harvest losses, benefits to the farmers, employment generation, etc. Through the Mega Food Park scheme, he said.
The ministry regularly monitors the progress of implementation of mega food park projects through periodical review meetings with promoters of projects at various levels, including by the Inter-Ministerial Approval Committee, he added.
Further, the minister said that site visits of the projects are also conducted by the ministry officials.
As per the scheme guidelines, a programme management agency (PMA) monitors and reports the progress of the project to the ministry.
In addition to PMA, for smooth implementation of the project at ground level, a programme management consultant (PMC) empanelled by the ministry is engaged by the implementing agency, he added.
In a separate reply, Patel said the Government has so far approved 41 mega food parks.
It has also approved 353 cold chain projects, 63 agro-processing clusters, 292 food processing units, 63 creation of backward and forward linkages projects, besides six operation green projects across the country under corresponding component schemes of Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana (PMKSY).
These sanctioned projects are estimated to benefit about 34 lakh farmers on completion, he said.
In the evaluation study of the Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure Scheme conducted by Nabard Consultancy Limited (NABCONS) in 2020, it has been estimated that captive projects under the scheme have resulted in an increase in farm-gate prices by 12.38 per cent and each project is estimated to benefit more than 9,500 farmers, he added.
The central scheme PMKSY is being implemented since 2016-17 for the overall growth and development of the food processing sector, including the processing of agro-products, and thus, increasing the income of the farmers.
The scheme aims to set up/upgrade 2 lakh micro food processing enterprises. (PTI)