Five of the 42 mega food parks to be built in the country for rs 2,000 crore are ready, Union food-processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has said.
“Fazilka has one of these food parks, while the Ludhiana and Kapurthala parks will be ready in two years,” the minister said. She was at Behra village near Dera Bassi in this district on Saturday to inaugurate Thapar University’s centre for learning resources development. On the demand of legislator NK Sharma, she approved a Mega Food Park for Lalru.
The Union minister said the food parks would have production, processing, cold-storage, collection, and transport facilities, and each would create 30,000 direct jobs and give indirect employment to more than 1 lakh people.
“Our traditional crops are not beneficial for Punjab farmers, who work very hard but do not get the right return. Time has come for them to switch to beneficial crops such as fruits, flowers and vegetables,” the Union minister said. She added that deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had secured approval from the Centre for making fuel (ethanol) from maize, “which will expand the area under this crop and give farmers value for their hard work”.
She said that under the campaign “Nanhi Chhaan”, more than 30-lakh trees has been planted, and the drive was getting a great response in the state.