Karnataka to set up Rs 500 cr fruit processing cluster


Bengaluru, July 21 : Karnataka would soon set up a fruit processing cluster in Ramangara district near this tech city with Rs 500 crore investment under the public-private partnership (PPP) model, Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan said on Tuesday. "The horticultural crops processing cluster, including a mango pulp making unit, will be set up at Bhairapattana near Ramanagara town through a PPP model at a cost of Rs 500 crore," Narayan told reporters after a meeting with the officials of the district and the state horticulture department here. Ramanagara is about 50 km southwest of Bengaluru. Narayan, who is also in-charge of the adjacent district, which is enroute Mysuru from Bengaluru, said the cluster would initially have five units to process horticulture produce like fruits and vegetables from across the state. "Of the 40 acres of land identified for the cluster, 15 acres will be used for the units, including four acres for the mango pulp unit and 11 acres to process other fruits and vegetables for domestic and export markets," said Narayan. The state government has asked the Centre to grant Rs 10 crore to fund the cluster under its Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, a scheme of the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, for remunerative approaches for agriculture and allied sectors rejuvenation (RKVY-Raftaar). "The cluster will facilitate farmers and growers to add value to their produce by processing fruits and vegetables round the year," said Narayan, a legislator of the ruling BJP from the Malleshwaram Assembly seat in Bengaluru west. Under the PPP model, prospective investors will get 40 per cent subsidy to participate in the cluster project. As the district is also a centre of sericulture, the minister said 20 acres of land would be earmarked to build a high-tech silk market at a cost of Rs 75 crore, which will be given by the state-run National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard). State Minister for Sericulture Shankar, former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who is a JD(S) legislator from the Channapatna Assembly segment in the district, and JD-S lawmaker Sa Ra Mahesh were also present in the meeting at the state secretariat. /IANS


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