Â· Farmers will benefit most from the Food Park.
Â· An agriculture hub should be established here, we want to bring change in Amethi and Jagdishpur.
Â· Farmers in Uttar Pradesh do not get prices according to their produce and this is the main reason why the Food Park
is being established.
Â· There will be 40-50 warehouses. Farmers will get prices that are worth the hard work they put in
Inaugurating the Shaktimaan Food Park at Jagdishpur (Amethi) today (October 7), Congress Vice-President Shri Rahul Gandhi said 'If one looks at the entire chain, it is the farmer who puts in the maximum work, it is the farmer who toils everyday on the fields. Yet, farmers get the least benefit. Farmers will benefit from the food park'.
Shri Gandhi, who is also the MP from Amethi, addressed the public at the Aditya Birla Public School which is situated in the Jagdishpur Industrial Zone. The Shaktimaan Food Park is part of the Central government's ambitious food park scheme. The purpose of the scheme is to eliminate the middlemen between the farm and the market and provide better facilities to ensure that the maximum benefits reach the farmers.
The first of its kind in Uttar Pradesh, the project is being registered by Aditya Birla Nuvo Limited as an SPV. Earlier, Shri Gandhi inaugurated a customised fertiliser plant. The fertiliser from this plant will enable a 15-20% increase in the yield as well as in the quality of the harvest.
Shri Gandhi asked the farmers gathered at the public meeting, 'what is the price of potatoes?' to which they replied 'Rs 10-12 per kilo'. Then Shri Gandhi said, 'what does a packet of potato chips cost? About Rs 400 per kilo. Farmers might be thinking what is there in a packet of potato chips that makes it Rs 400 per kilo. When we start '
'When we start processing here, the benefits will directly reach the farmer. The purpose is to enable farmers to sell their produce at a good price from their homes,' Shri Gandhi said.
'Out of the Rs 400 in a kilo of potato chips, farmers barely get Rs 2-3. I want farmers to get the largest share. It is for this reason that we have set up the food park here. And this isn't for any one vegetable,' he added.
Shri Gandhi told the farmers gathered, 'Uttar Pradesh produces the maximum mangoes in the world. Most of it gets exported from Delhi. The farmer whose mangoes are sent to London or the US, is not benefitting as much as he should. Be it mangoes or menthol or Amla (gooseberry), it is being produced in Uttar Pradesh. Yet, the processing does not take place here. We need to have an agricultural hub here'.
The Congress Vice-President brought cheer to the youth with his announcement that the project would create a large number of jobs. 'We have won the battle related to the Hindustan Paper Mill, which will create 10,000 jobs. We will soon inaugurate the Hindustan Paper Mill. This will give employment to 10,000 people,' he said.
Rs 450-500 crore of agricultural products will be consumed at the Mega Food Park every year. These include foodgrains, vegetables and fruits such as mango, gooseberry, guava, watermelon, potato, tomato, okra, peas, carrot, onion, rice, wheat, pulses, mustard etc.
The produce will be procured from villages within 100-150 radius of Jagdishpur such as Bachharwa in Rae Bareli district, Amahat in Sultanpur district, Mahuli in Pratapgarh district, Barabanki and Malihabad in Lucknow district.
The Birla group has announced an investment of Rs 200 crore for the Mega Food Park. This will be spread across 72 acres in the Jagdishpur Industrial Zone in Amethi.
The Amethi MP said, 'We have to transform Jagdishpur. This is an extremely significant step in that direction. 40-50 warehouses will be set up for different products such as potato, mint, mango etc'.
Referring to Shri Kumaramangalam Birla, the chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, Shri Gandhi said, 'Birla ji said that 40,000 people will benefit. 25,000 will get jobs indirectly. 2500 will be directly given employment. This is just the beginning. When we start processing here, the processing for the entire Uttar Pradesh can be done here'.
'During a visit to Karnataka some years back, I saw that many scientific industries have been set up there. I asked the people there how it became a hub for research and development? How is Bangalore the centre for the IT industry? It turned out that 60-70 years ago HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) established a factory there. The beginning of Bangalore's IT boom was laid by an HAL factory,' Shri Gandhi narrated.
'Rajiv ji began the process of constructing National Highways. Are you all aware how much work we have done over the past 5-6 years in constructing National Highways? There is now an airport at Fursatganj We can keep cargo here. Whatever the farmers of UP produce, we can take it directly to the Fursatganj airport and export it from there,' Shri Gandhi said.
Focusing on the cultivation of mint in particular, Shri Gandhi said, 'India produces a large amount of mint. Much of it gets exported. But the processing takes place in other countries and we buy the finished product. I want that the processing should take place here. The farmers should feel that they are getting the benefit of the hard word and toil the put in.
'Together, we will fight for the farmers of Amethi. When we win this battle, it will benefit Amethi as well as every farmer,' Shri Gandhi said.