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MoFPI issues draft guidelines for creation of backward, forward linkages
Thursday, 16 March, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI) has released draft guidelines for backward and forward linkages, aiming at plugging the gaps in supply chain and linking farmers to food processors and the market.

In this regard, the ministry will offer a grant in aid of 35 per cent of the eligible cost in general areas and 50 per cent of the cost in difficult areas, including the North-East. The guidelines would also assist upto 50 per cent to farmer producer organisations (FPOs).

A senior MoFPI official explained, “The key issues faced by the food processing industry in the country were the viability and scalability factors, which, in turn, were linked to the absence of efficient food supply chain mechanics effectively integrating backward and forward linkages in a seamless manner. With the right policy in place, investment is expected to flow into integrating backward linkages into the supply chain, thereby having a positive impact on the food processing sector.”

Under the guidelines, the sectors that are eligible include fruit and vegetable processing, milk processing, meat, poultry and fish processing as well as shops and establishments pertaining to ready-to- eat and ready-to-cook food products and logistics.

Existing food processing units, FPOs, self-help groups (SHGs), retailers and logistics suppliers can avail the plan.

For backward linkages, MoFPI has included components such as integrated packhouses with mechanised sorting and grading lines, packing lines, waxing lines, staging cold rooms, milk chilling centres, bulk milk coolers, pre-cooling units and mobile pre-cooling vans and reefer boats.

For forward linkages, components comprise ripening chambers, retail chains of outlets for perishables, including meat shops with facilities such as frozen storage units, deep freezers, refrigerated display cabinets, cold rooms, retail refrigerated carts and temperature-controlled solar-powered retail carts.

The ministry has also included the transport component of refrigerated, insulated transport and reefer vans in the linkage plan.

The guidelines said that the grant would be released in two installments of 50 per cent each, with a review in each phase.
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