Himachal Pradesh gets 'Best State in Food Processing Award-2024': Industries minister

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Shimla, Jul 11 (PTI) Himachal Pradesh has bagged the "Best State in Food Processing Award-2024" for its outstanding work through various programmes in the sector, state industries minister Harshwardhan Chauhan said on Thursday.

In a statement issued here, he said that these initiatives have significantly impacted the lives of millions of farmers and the rural population of the state.

He said the award was presented by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari at the "Agriculture Leadership Conclave" organized by the "Agriculture Today Group" in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Meera Mohanty, Himachal Pradesh Resident Commissioner in Delhi, received the award on behalf of the Department of Industries.

Chauhan said food processing is a priority sector for the industries department as it provides value addition and positively impacts the rural economy. This recognition underscores the state's commitment to fostering innovation and excellence in food processing.

He said the state government has significantly enhanced the food processing infrastructure in Himachal Pradesh. There are 23 designated food parks, one mega food park and two agro processing clusters in the state.

Additionally, 18 cold chain projects and numerous food processing units have been established under the State Mission on Food Processing Scheme and the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana, he added.

Last year, the state was recognized as the 'Outstanding Performing State' under the Prime Minister Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme at the World Food India event, the minister said.

Under this scheme, 1,320 micro food processing enterprises have been sanctioned and significant credit-linked subsidies and seed capital have been disbursed to Self Help Groups (SHGs) and members, he added. PTI BPL HVA