The government has approved a new Rs. 6,000-crore central scheme ‘SAMPADA’ for the 2016-20 period with an aim to boost processing of marine and agriculture produce. A decision in this regard was taken at the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The CCEA has given its approval for re-structuring the schemes of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries under new central sector scheme – SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) for the period 2016-20,” an official release said.
The new scheme has an allocation of Rs. 6,000 crore. It will help in generating an investment of Rs. 31,400 crore and facilitate handling of 334 lakh tonnes of agro-produce valuing Rs. 104,125 crore. This is expected to benefit 20 lakh farmers and create about 530,500 direct and indirect employment.
“The objective of SAMPADA is to supplement agriculture, modernise processing and decrease agri-waste,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the meeting. SAMPADA is an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing schemes like mega food parks, integrated cold chain and value addition infrastructure, food safety and quality assurance infrastructure and others.
It also includes new schemes like infrastructure for agro-processing clusters, creation of backward and forward linkages, creation/expansion of food processing and preservation capacities. According to the statement, the SAMPADA will give a thrust to the food processing sector and help in providing better prices to farmers and achieve the government’s target to double farmers income by 2022.
During 2015-16, the food processing sector contributed 9.1 and 8.6 per cent of gross value added in manufacturing and agriculture sector, respectively.