Sikaria Mega Food Park is a large food processing and storage facility located in Tulakona near Agartala, Tripura, India. It is the 17th facility of its kind in the country and one of the first Food Technology Centre of Excellence in Tripura.

The integrated project is a joint venture (JV) of the Sikaria Group and the State Government of Tripura. India’s Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI) also provided assistance during the development.

Officially inaugurated in February 2019, the facility is estimated to generate annual revenue of up to Rs5bn ($72.27m). It will provide employment opportunities to more than 5,000 people and benefit approximately 25,000 farmers in the area.

Background and need for the project

The food park was conceptualised by the Indian Government in 2008. The project was formulated to develop state-of-art food processing facilities through a cluster-based approach.

The facility is intended to reduce the loss of perishable goods, which are often wasted due to lack of proper storage. It is expected to optimise the supply chain and allow farmers to sell raw materials directly to food processors.

MOFPI sanctioned final approval for the project in November 2011.

Site details and location advantages

Sikaria Group selected Tulakona in the West Tripura district as the location for the development due to the abundance of natural resources and transport connectivity.

In addition, Tripura is known for its horticultural and fresh agricultural produce.

The project site is located nearby the Agartala to Shillong NH-8 bypass and 17km away from the nearest airport. Two river ports and Jogendranagar railway station are also in the vicinity.

Facilities at the Sikaria Food Park

Covering an area of 50 acres of land, the food park was developed with an estimated investment of Rs874.5m ($12.64m). It features a central processing centre (CPC), five primary processing centres (PPC) and multiple collection centres (CC).

“The facility is intended to reduce the loss of perishable goods, which are often wasted due to lack of proper storage.”

Designed using a hub and spoke model, the facilities will ensure the timely processing of collected food products. The CPC will integrate up to 35 food processing units with associated processing and packaging infrastructure. Other facilities at the CPC include an environmental protection system, a trade facilitation centre and quality control labs.

The CPC also has an in-built hi-tech cold storage facility with a capacity of 2,500t, as well as goods loading and unloading facilities. A large warehouse with a storage capacity of 5,000t is available for use by the manufacturers for the storage of perishable and finished goods. It will also feature a common administrative building for entrepreneurial and office use.

Common packaging facilities were set up near the food processing units for packing rice bags up to 10kg. A 2Mt/h assembly line integrated with a colour sorter was installed for the precise primary packing of raw materials.

Five PPC facilities were set up at Budhjung Nagar, Hrisyamukh, Sonamura, Chandipur, and Manu, while chambers for the ripening of bananas, mango, and papaya were installed in the CPC and PPCs.

Mobile collection vans will be stationed at the CPC for the collection of raw materials and shipping of finished products.

Financing and contractors

Sikaria Mega Food Park was funded by the partners in the SPV. MOFPI provided Rs500m ($7.2m) as a grant for the development of the project, while a sum of Rs170m ($2.4m) was secured in the form of a loan. The remaining Rs204.5m ($2.9m) was funded by the promoter.

Additional investments up to Rs2.5bn ($36m) will be made in the future.

Technopak Advisors was appointed as the project management consultant (PMC) by MOFPI for the project.