Talking to UNI on the sidelines of a seminar here today, Food Processing Industry and Horticulture Department Minister-in-charge Mohanta Chatterjee said talks were on with Reliance Fresh to augment the food processing industry.
''The government has decided to involve small-scale farmers and vendors in such outlets,'' the minister said.
West Bengal, the largest producer of pineapples and second largest producer of potatoes and tomatoes in the country, has a market potential of Rs 800 million in South East Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.
''We are planning to make Siliguri, in North Bengal, the main hub for export as it can easily cater to Bangladesh, Nepal and other neighbouring countries. The government is also planning to come up with a mega food-park in Kolkata to encompass all major food producing units under one roof,'' Mr Chatterjee siad.
He further said the food processing industry in the state was growing at a rate of 10-15 per cent. Consequently, the government had identified six agri-export zones in North Bengal and had included 14 districts in the National Horticulture Mission and was planning to include four more districts by April 2008, he added.