With employment, still being a challenge, especially in rural areas of the country, the state government has set a goal of improvising about 38,000 small food processing units in the unorganized sector within the next 5 years.

An official speaker of the state government informed that the initiative is intended to be run under the centrally funded PM Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises Scheme (PM FME Scheme) extending financial, technical and business assistance to the prevailing micro food processing enterprises. Official sources from the horticulture department declared that the scheme would be provided 60% of the funds from the Central government while the remaining 40% would have to be offered by the state government.

Sources revealed that the state government would undertake individuals or groups of individuals under the scheme which is a part of the Centre’s ‘Atmanirbhar Abhiyan’ (self-reliant scheme). The scheme grants credit linked subsidy of 35% up to a maximum of Rs 10 lakh of the total project cost.

The grantee would have to bear 10% of the project cost, while the rest of the cost may be paid jointly through loans from bank, officials stated.

Besides, the self-help groups (SHGs) and cooperative societies would be provided Rs 40,000 as a working capital to start with. “The food products manufactured under One-District-One-Product (ODOP) or those which have a low shelf life would be given preference,” the officials informed.

Apart from this initiative, five agro-processing clusters are going to be set up in districts such as Baghpat, Barabanki, Kanpur (Rural), Mathura, and Rae Bareli. The project is put forward to be supported by PM Kisan Sampada Scheme, officials informed.

“This is a multi-dimensional approach focussed to provide employment benefits to the rural citizens and boost up the economy of rural India,” officials stated.

Uttar Pradesh holds a foremost position in total production of horticultural crop in the nation. Actually, for more than 92% of the small holding farmers, horticultural crop is the primary source of higher earnings, job-opportunity and nutrition per unit area.

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