It is a long time since one has been hearing about the heroic announcements from GOI regarding the so called "Food Parks", supposed to be the ultimate tool for development of food processing industry in the country. The tragedy is that very little is perceptible at the ground level in order to come to any meaningful conclusion whether this is the right type of "Special Purpose Vehicle" that is workable under Indian conditions. If those who feel bad about the lack of progress are to be believed, Food Parks are likely to remain a "dream".
"Is the government's plan on the food processing front proceeding as planned? In order to give a big boost to the food processing sector, the government proposed to set up five more mega food parks — in addition to the 10 parks being set up — in the Union budget for 2010-11. But the industry which is unhappy with the progress of food parks thinks this is likely to remain a dream. The Agro & Food Processing Technology & Equipment Providers Association of India (AFTPAI), a newly formed association, said that no concrete measure has been taken so far by the government as promised in the previous budgets for the sector". "The proposed five mega food parks are almost a distant dream for us. In reality, there are only two food parks which are working as of date. In addition, proper infrastructure, which facilitates the sector in some way or the other, is not in place, AFTPAI secretary Firoz H Naqvi said".
Who is to be blamed for this sorry state of affairs? MFPI of GOI or the State Governments? As of now there does not seem to be any one willing to accept blame for this ship shod performance and it is the responsibility of the taxpayers to bring to book those who play around with public funds for projects ill-conceived and non-implemented. Unless a thorough review of the reasons for the tardy progress is undertaken, no more food parks must be planned in this country.