Govt’s nod to CFC in rice milling cluster at Paoni

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Sep 2017 10:23:17


By Niraj Chinchkhede,

Giving a major boost to rice industry, the Steering Committee of Micro and Small Enterprises - Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP) accorded in-principle approval to the long-pending proposal of setting up a Common Facility Centre (CFC) in Rice Milling Cluster at Paoni in Bhandara district.

Harshawardhan Harde, Director of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) - the Bhandara District Rice Millers Cluster Private Limited, on Monday confirmed the development. He attended the Steering Committee meeting held in New Delhi.

To set up the facility under the MSE-CDP scheme, the rice millers are required to set up the SPV. The proposed facility expected to be developed with an estimated cost of about Rs 15 crore in a span of next two years would provide a technological edge to over 245 rice millers operating in Bhandara district. Besides, it is likely to play role of game-changer for paddy growing farmers and other stake holders in the district. Rice millers and paddy growing farmers are considered as the backbone of the agro-economy of Bhandara. However, lack of the modern facilities, testing labs and poor exposure to new technology were negativity impacting the sector.

“For the past three years, rice millers in the district have been struggling to develop the facility. As per the directions of the Government, we have set up the SPV and submitted the proposal to the Union Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises after the Maharashtra Government cleared it about one year back,” Harde said.

He said, the committee is likely to give formal approval very soon after which the SPV would begin the construction work on the site. “The Committee has asked us to comply with certain norms before getting the formal approval. We are commiitted to complete all the formalities at the earliest possible and start the work,” he said. The proposed facility planned under Cluster Development Programme of the Central Government, will witness testing labs and rice ageing facilities among others.

“We are all set to develop a rice ageing facility on a piece of 8 acre land earmarked for the purpose in Paoni village. It will drastically improve the quality of rice processed in the local units. It will also help the local players to export rice and subsequently give good returns to paddy growing farmers,” Harde said.

Rice ageing is a process carried out in the many rice mills that enhances physical and chemical properties of rice grains subsequently attracting good returns for the commodity. But interestingly, as of now the rice millers in the district have no access to the facility.

P M Parlewar, Joint Development Commissioner of SEZ (Cluster) said that the proposal was submitted through the State Government about one year back. “Under the scheme, the Union and State governments will offer funds for the facility,” he said.