6 special agri production zones to come up in state

6 special agri production zones to come up in state

Two years after it was first mooted, the government has finally notified the Special Agricultural Production Zone (SAPZ) policy to provide technological and logistic support for farmers to increase farm produce.

Modelled on the lines of the SEZ for industries, Special Agricultural Production Zone will have state-of-the-art facilities including mechanised farming, cold storage facilities, quality control labs and auction hall for farmers to sell their produce.

To start with, SAPZ have been proposed to be set up at six places – around 50 to 60 km from the cities of Bengaluru, Mysuru, Hubballi-Dharwad, Belagavi, Mangaluru and Kalaburagi. Basically, SAPZs will cater to the need for agricultural and horticultural crops in cities.

As per the policy, notified on August 16, the zones will be developed on public-private-partnership basis.

The government has proposed to invest Rs 25 crore per zone.

SAPZ was first proposed by the Siddaramaiah government in 2016, but it failed to take of.

The policy states that the zones will come up on around 500 acres of land, of which 70% will be earmarked for agricultural activities, 10% each for processing, non-processing, trading and warehousing areas.

On its part, the government will provide internal infrastructure like roads, water supply and sewage treatment, power supply.

The SAPZ developer will get an exemption from conversion and other land revenue fees, development charges of local planning authority, stamp duty and electricity tax. The zones will also have export units. “This facility will help small and marginal farmers, who otherwise are not in a position to send their produce outside the country and become part of the global economy,” the policy states.

In 2011, Uttarakhand became the first state in the country to set up Special Agricultural Production Zone. However, the concept is different there. Farmers are encouraged to develop high-quality seeds of crops typical to hilly regions.

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