SINDHULI, Feb 26: The construction of a food processing plant in Sindhuli has been affected for the past seven years.
Sindhuligadhi Junar and Fruit Processing Company, which was being developed under public private partnership model in Kamalamai Municipality-4, is in limbo after the government stopped subsidy that was to be channeled through Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, according to the company's board member Deepak Koirala.
The total cost of the project was estimated at Rs 60 million. The company has already invested Rs 40 million, including Rs 20 million government subsidy, according to Koirala to build infrastructures. "We have already installed grading machine," he said, adding that the company was yet to install processing plant.
The plant was being built under FNCCI's 'One Village, One Product' program. Ram Kumar Rajbhandari, an officer at Sindhuli Chamber of Commerce and Industries, told Republica he has no idea why construction of the processing plant couldn't move ahead.
Sindhuli is one of the largest producers of junar in Nepal. The construction of processing plant had elated local farmers who were hopeful of getting returns from junar farming by selling their produce to the plant. But the delay in construction of the plant has dashed their hopes.
Junar farming is done in more than 1,535 hectares of land in Sindhuli. The plant aimed at processing not only junar, but also other fruits like mango and pineapple.
Board members of the company told Republica that former president of FNCCI, Suraj Vaidya, also holds some stakes in the company.
Krishna Prasad Gautam, a board member of the company, said failure to bring the company into operation by installing the processing plant has left the farmers upset. "The processing plant costs around Rs 12.5 million. But we do not have such a huge amount of money," he said, adding that existing promoters are also not in a position to up their investment.
Local farmers, who have also invested in the company, say other investors won't put their money into similar projects in the district due to the lengthy delay in construction of this processing plant.