Kerala Seafood Export Sector Strengthened: CM

Kerala’s marine products export sector is being strengthened, Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

He inaugurated a mega food park set up by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) at the Industrial Growth Center in Pallippuram near Cherthala on Tuesday.

Mr Vijayan said Kerala accounted for 14% of India’s seafood exports. “The fisheries department strives to improve fishing techniques using scientific methods like in countries like Norway. The government will set up laboratories at four airports to check the quality of food exported from the state,” the chief minister said, adding that the government will take steps to encourage manufacturing of value-added products to fuel the growth of the food ensure -Processing sector.

The mega food park is expected to provide a boost to the state’s food processing sector, particularly the seafood processing and marketing sector. Once fully operational, the park would generate an investment of ₹1,000 crore and create approximately 3,000 direct and indirect jobs. The park is being built on 84.05 acres of land at a cost of ₹128.49 crore, with an equity contribution of ₹72.49 crore from the KSIDC/State Government and a ₹50 crore grant from the Union Department of Food Processing Industries the Mega Food Park Scheme and the rest bank loans. The first phase of the project, started by the Chief Minister, was built on 68 acres of land.

Land has already been allocated to 31 units, mainly those in sectors such as seafood and other food processing and packaging units, according to KSIDC officials. Of these, 12 units have started operations and offer 600 jobs.

Apart from the basic infrastructure, the park is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities such as cold storage, deep freeze, deboning center, waste treatment plant, storage and a standard factory common facility center. Primary processing centers to be established at Thoppumpady, Vypeen and Munambam will be linked to the park.

Officials said work is progressing on the second phase of the project (16 acres). A sum of ₹100.84 crore has been spent on the construction of the park so far.

A video message from Pashupati Kumar Paras, Union Minister for Food Industry, was shown at the event. Industry Minister P. Rajeeve chaired. Minister of Agriculture P. Prasad, AM Ariff, MP, Daleema Jojo, MLA, and others attended the event.

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