Yoga guru Ramdev’s company Patanjali Aurved will be setting up a huge plant in Nagpur for the production of orange juice. Patanjali, that emerged as the sole bidder for 230-acres of land in Multi-model International Cargo Hub and Airport, Nagpur (MIHAN) project has been given a letter of acceptance of bid by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) on Tuesday.
The company plans to develop a modern food park by building a Rs1000-crore plant, and launch juices made from the famous Nagpuri orange. It will be for the first time that orange juice made from local oranges will be packaged as a brand, informs managing director of Patanjali Ayurved, Acharya Balkrishna. This will also be the first expansion of existing facility near Haridwar, Uttarkhand.
With the setting up of the food park, the MADC was optimistic that the Vidarbha region will get economic support, capability building and provide employment opportunities to the local population. The huge export potential of the processed food industry can be tapped at minimum time and cost due to the upcoming international airport and cargo terminal in MIHAN.
After floating global tender thrice earlier, the MADC finally succeeded when Patanjali appeared on the scene for the huge project.
The MADC, as part of betterment of Vidarbha region and to overcome the backlog had decided to develop agro, food, herbal and forest based industrial park on 230 acres of sprawling land on one corner of MIHAN.
The MADC set a condition that the financial capacity of the bidder should have a minimum turn-over of Rs 300-crore per annum from agro, food, herbal and forest based processing business in last three years and whose net worth should be Rs 75-crore in last financial year.
Patanjali Ayurved was found to be the right choice in the bidding. The MADC wanted a commitment to procure raw materials to the tune of at least Rs 100 crore per annum from the farmers and members of tribal community within the surrounding area.
It also laid a condition that the bidder should make a commitment to train minimum 1000 farmers per year across Maharashtra to improve productivity, quality and market intelligence to get them ready for agro business development in consultation with agriculture department.
Patanjali is not in the region for business alone. The larger air is to develop this backward region that is infamous for farmers’ suicide. The proposed plant is expected to link nearly 50,000 farmers’ suppliers, create direct employment for over 5,000 people and eventually provide indirect employment to nearly five-lakh families, Balkrishna pointed out.
Besides, farmers will be trained to grow crops like orange, aloe vera, tomato and herbs according to the specification of the company and given a purchase guarantee. A team of scientists and other experts is also working on the project that is expected to change the farm economy of the region, Balkrishna further claimed.
The government of Maharashtra formed a special purpose entity in the name of MADC for development of MIHAN. The state government has acquired over 4,000-hectare land to develop the entire project, including a special economic zone.