Maharashtra to soon invite bids for farm value-chains

"We have lined up 800 locations across the state for setting up value chain centres, which are in the vicinity of various APMC premises. The first bidding for setting up some such chains will take place in May," Principal Secretary (Agriculture & Marketing) Sudhir Kumar Goel said here. 

Under the plan, land measuring 1 to 10 acres will be provided to investors for putting up value-chain centres with a 20-year concession period, he said, adding Delloite India is providing consultancy to the Government on the issue.

Inviting the corporates to join the Government in its efforts to create back-end infrastructure to improve farm productivity, Goel said there is no dearth of funds for these projects. "The Government would support any industrialist who is willing to invest in end-to-end project in food processing. Rs 2,000 crore is available with the state for developing backend agri infrastructure. We will invest about Rs 1,000 crore to set up value-chains and about 40 per cent of this money is available as viability gap funding."

In the backend, the private player may require crates, good quality seeds, training for farmers, he said. "All these costs will be borne by the Government. It will not lead to erosion of your profit margins."

The Asian Development Bank recently approved an investment of Rs 1,000 crore in the agriculture sector of the Stat in next five years, he said, adding Maharashtra plans to invest Rs 700 crore to improve competitiveness.

Besides, investment of Rs 500 crore is proposed to improve farm infrastructure under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Goel added.

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