Baba Ramdev wants Nashik grapes to make it into ayurvedic medicine

Updated: Dec 08, 2016, 10:24 IST | Dharmendra Jore |

Local BJP MLA bats for Baba Ramdev’s food park to tap rich fruit produce in the region, a boon for crisis-hit farmers

Baba Ramdev wants to set up a food park in Nashik, where fruits and vegetables are produced in abundanceBaba Ramdev wants to set up a food park in Nashik, where fruits and vegetables are produced in abundance

After Nagpur’s oranges, yoga guru Baba Ramdev has set his sights on Nashik’s famous grapes. Ramdev wants to set up a food park in North Maharashtra’s manufacturing capital where fruits and vegetables are produced in abundance.

Ramdev will visit Nashik following a request by local BJP MLA Devayani Farande. She is currently in Nagpur for the winter session and is impressed with the inroads that Ramdev’s business-venture Patanjali Ayurved Limited has made in backward Vidarbha.

The ayurveda company recently won a land allotment deal for a food park in the multi-modal International Hub Airport in Nagpur (MIHAN).

“We have had talks with Baba Ramdev and offered him all our assistance in Nashik where grapes, onions, tomatoes and forest produce is available in large quantities,” Farande told mid-day.

“Farmers in Nashik region face a peculiar crisis when the prices of farm produce fall. They let their produce rot because they cannot afford to cart it to markets. We think that the produce will be put to good use if we have a processing industry such as Patanjali food parks,” the MLA added.

According to Farande, she has sounded CM Devendra Fadnavis about the plans and sought approval for the land required. She said that Patanjali would formally move its proposal to the CM soon.

Patanjali will also buy forest produce from tribals in Nashik, Nandurbar and Dhule districts. The business house will also engage another sizeable section in Vidarbha’s Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Bhandara and Gondia for herbal medicines.

Nashik, which is the state’s grape capital, has some of the most famous wineries. Patanjali will process grapes to make ayurvedic medicines.

Sources said the government will have to steer clear of any controversy in allotting land to Patanjali.

In the past, the NCP and Congress have accused the government of dispensing land at much lower rates and fabricating tender documents to favour Patanjali, which is close to the BJP. They claimed that no other player was allowed to win bids. They have also accused the government of increasing prices of other land parcels in Mihan to compensate for the losses that the state has suffered in a deal with Patanjali.

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