THE foundation stone has been laid by India’s Minister of State for Food Processing at what is believed to be the world’s largest food park.
The Patanjali Food and Herbal Park in Hardwar in the Northern state of Uttarakhand is expected to be fully operational from August this year, and is the first of ten mega food parks being set up by the Indian Government to boost the country’s food processing industry.
The 95-acre park, which has been built at a cost of Rs 5 billion [£67m] will have 32 processing units for fruits and vegetables and delivering value added products such as juice, pulp, puree, confectionery, pickles and herbal products.
Scottish firm, Nature & Herbs, is one of several private companies which have invested in the food park.
Nature & Herbs, which has its headquarters in Glasgow, was founded in 2007 by 26 year-old Arti Poddar.
The Scotland-born entrepreneur distributes herbal supplements, body care products, food items and cosmetics exclusively to retail outlets in London, Leicester and Birmingham and online via www.natureandherbs.co.uk
Nature & Herbs’ product range was developed in conjunction with the founders of the Patanjali Yog Peeth Trust (PYPT) in India who are leading authorities on ayurved medicine and the wisdom of the Himalayas.
The PYPT are also promoters of the new Patanjali Food and Herbal Park. Supporting the inauguration, Ms Poddar said: “The Patanjali Food and Herbal park will bring help revive the agricultural industry in India, increasing returns for farmers and providing sustainable employment, increased wealth and prosperity for the local community, as well as neighbouring towns and villages.
“For many people, this will be a much needed lifeline and I am pleased to be supporting such a worthy cause.”
Says a spokesperson: “The mega park, which will create 20,000 jobs initially, will provide a gate to plate supply chain system and state of the art infrastructure designed to reduce wastage at farm level and increase value added opportunities from perishables, such as fruit and vegetables.
“Currently less than ten per cent of India’s agriculture is processed.”
Speaking at the recent ceremony to lay the foundation stone, the Union Minister for Food Processing, Mr Subodh Kant Sahai, said he hoped the mega food park proposals would significantly increase this figure: “Our food processing is growing at 14 per cent annually whereas other sectors are only experiencing seven per cent growth.
“If we can improve our food processing capabilities in line with that of countries that process 80 – 90 per cent of their agricultural produce then we can make our country much more prosperous.”
Issued on behalf of the Patanjali Yog Peeth Trust and Nature & Herbs by Jen Nash, t. 07971 466 220 e. firstname.lastname@example.org
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