Amethi: Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi on Monday laid the foundation stone of Shaktiman food processing plant – the first mega food park in Uttar Pradesh in Jagdishpur of Amethi district.
While speaking on the occasion, Rahul Gandhi, who is also the Member of Parliament from Amethi, struck an emotional chord with farmers lauding their hard work for the country but expressed concern that the farmers are not getting adequate benefits. “The farmers are the most hard- working people, but they get the least benefits” said the Congress Vice President.
“When this project will be completed, different food processing units will be established here. This will benefit about 40000 people; will generate indirect employment for about 25000 and 2500 people will get direct placement” he informed. “We want to make Amethi the agricultural hub and our efforts are in that direction” added Rahul Gandhi.
“We get our strength from these people in front of me. Without their help, we cannot achieve anything.  These people are my family. Today is a historic day and I am happy that you also have joined this huge family. Now, we will together fight for the rights of the farmers in Amethi and I am confident that we will win this battle too and the farmers and aam aadmi here will reap more benefits” said the Congress MP amid cheers from the huge gathering.
This park would have 35 processing units and would employ around 25000 people of the state. The mega food park would be developed by Aditya Birla Group through Indo-Gulf fertilizer, one of its business arms. The plant would be constructed on about 72 acres of land. This land is planned to be developed on housing, educational and commercial standards.
The mega food plant would directly benefit more than 40,000 local farmers. It is estimated that the park would earn revenue of Rs 450 crore every year. It would be a lucrative job opportunity for all the local residents of Jagdishpur and nearby areas. Shaktiman Mega Food Park will offer essential services like dry warehousing, cold storage, a farmer friendly bank and fully equipped education and business centres. Farmers, food processors and the local economy will benefit most from this initiative.
This food park, spread over 72 acres, will have world class infrastructure for food processing, coupled with backward and forward linkages for the entire food processing value chain. It will implement best practices in post-harvest management.
Dr Charan Das Mahant, Union minister of state for agriculture and food processing and Kumar Mangalam Birla also attended the foundation ceremony.
 
Full text of Sh. Rahul Gandhi’s speech after laying the foundation stone for the mega food park in Amethi
 
 (Kumar Mangalam) Birla Ji has just said that his family has a good relationship with my family. I want to tell him that, just the same way, the people sitting in front me are also our family. So if you have a good family relation with me, then you are having the same relationship with the people of Amethi too.
I just want to share some of the points of discussion I just had. What is the cost on one kilo gram of potato? It is only Rs. 6 to 10/-. But a kilo aloo chips (potato chips) costs about Rs. 400/-. During my recent interaction with some farmers, I asked them about their benefits out of farming. I was shocked to hear from you about their issues. In the entire country, the farmers are the most hard- working people, but they get the least benefits.
Once this food park project will be completed, it is the farmers will have the maximum benefits. If one kilo potato chips costs around Rs. 400/- we want the farmers also get a major share of profit out of it. That is why we are now establishing this food park project here.
This food park will not be for any single crop. Uttar Pradesh produces maximum mangoes in the country; but the processing is being done elsewhere. Entire exporting is taking place from Delhi.. The farmers, who produces mangoes in Uttar Pradesh and these mangoes are being exported to London and America, are not getting the required benefits for their efforts. What we intend is that the processing of all food crops produced in Uttar Pradesh, whether it is aam or aamla, is done in this new food processing unit to be set up here in Amethi.  We want to make Amethi the agricultural hub and our efforts are in that direction. Rajiv Gandhi ji had initiated National Highway project here and you are aware of various NH projects undertaken in this region . Now we have Fursatganj airport. All these will help connectivity…
 When this project will be completed, different food processing units will be established here. This will benefit about 40000 people; will generate indirect employment for about 25000 and 2500 people will get direct placement.
This is just a beginning.. We want the processing of entire food crops produced in Uttar Pradesh is done here itself. Several crops get exported directly to other countries, processing is being taken place there and we buy the processed product from there. This food park is being made with the aim that whatever is grown in Amethi should be processed here. About 40 to 50 factories will come up and the farmers will feel the benefits for their hard work. The farmers here can sell their produce directly at the food processing units and Birla Ji was telling me that we can even collect things from the houses of the farmers directly also.  So the farmers here can have maximum benefits.
You are all aware of the problems we had in the matter Hindustan Paper Mills. The issue is connected with the lives of about 10000 people and there was a long legal fight. I am very happy to inform you that we have won the battle and soon we are going to inaugurate the Mill. About 10,000 people will get direct employment.
I want to tell Birla Ji that we get our strength from these people in front of me. Without their help, we cannot achieve anything.  These people are my family. Today is a historic day and I am happy that you also have joined this huge family. Now, we will together fight for the rights of the farmers in Amethi and I am confident that we will win this battle too and the farmers and aam aadmi here will reap more benefits.
Thank you.