Punjab government on Wednesday gave its nod for setting up a Food Processing Training and Business Incubation Centre' in Bathinda.
State chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said this centre to be set up by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) would go a long way in transforming the destiny of the beleaguered peasantry of the state, "which is on the brink of economic disaster due to day-by-day squeezing margins of profit".
Badal was presiding over a high level meeting here to encourage food processing industry in the state, an official release said here.
He said that this ambitious centre to come up on the land of Bathinda Research Centre of the PAU at a cost of about Rs 7 crore would impart training to the farmers, women and youth about the innovative techniques regarding the value addition of fruits, vegetables, coarse grains and others through food processing, so that they could earn huge profits from it.
The chief minister said that in the first phase training would be imparted for the processing of fruits and vegetables into jams, jellies, pickles, juices and others whereas in the second phase to be initiated later on training for bakery and confectionary products would be given.
Underscoring the need for providing adequate marketing facilities for the products to be manufactured in this centre, he said that the PAU must construct outlets on its land in Bathinda to sell the products manufactured from this centre.
Badal said that keeping in view huge scope of food processing industry, Punjabi farmers could be duly benefited from it.
Expressing concern over the lack of awareness amongst the people regarding the tremendous potential in food processing industry, the chief minister said that the state government must embark a special campaign for making the people aware about the enormous benefits they could get from this industry.