HUBLI: Good news for mango and vegetable growers of the North Karnataka region. The commercial city will have the first of its kind cold storageunit in the state that is being set up under the public private partnership (PPP) model.
Tropicool Foods Private Limited, a joint venture of Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Limited (KAPPEC) - a state-owned agency promoting exports of agricultural and horticultural produce, and Hubli-based Ken Agritech Private Limited, is setting up a Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) unit exclusively for processing vegetables and mangoes at Honnenahalli on Karwar Road, 20 km from here.
KAPPEC managing director K J Devendrappa told `The Times of India' that the project will help the farmers in cultivating alphonso mangoes and vegetables such as cabbage, radish, carrot, cauliflower that are preferred by European and American countries. The unit, equipped with 600 metric tonne storage capacity, will process 1,800 kg of mangoes and 3,600 kg of vegetables under minus 20 degree temperature per hour.
He said the unit is set up at a cost of Rs 10.5 crore with the equity share of KAPPEC and Ken Agritech being 26:74. The Belgium and Holland-based food processing companies, which have lend their expertise to Ken Agritech and also have equity participation with them in the project, will buy back the finished products.
Devendrappa said another cold storage unit exclusively for pomegranate will be started at Kushtagi in Koppal from February. The unit will be similar to the one in Bijapur meant for grapes. It will have 200 metric tonne capacity cold storage and 12 tonne capacity pre-cooling unit apart from a bulk storage unit of 300 tonnes per annum.
The unit is fully maintained by KAPPEC and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda), a central government agency and the state government under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), has funded Rs 8.33 crore towards the project.
Devendrappa said the state government is willing to set up more such joint ventures in the state where the state will have 49% stake. "We have received more than a dozen applications from private players from Dharwad, Kolar, Uttara Kannada and other parts of the state. We are holding discussions with the prospective investors," he said