Kishore Biyani, who controls India’s largest listed retailer Pantaloon Retail (India), plans to set up as many as five food parks in the country in partnership with local investors as he seeks to create hubs for suppliers of regional brands and local produce to his expanding chain of stores — from KB’s Fair Price to Food Bazaar. To do this, Biyani has set up a special purpose vehicle via his listed firm Future Ventures — Integrated Food Park — through which he hopes to route his investment.
The first food park in Karnataka will be equally divided for processing fresh produce such as tomatoes and mangoes that are perishable in nature and farm produce such as ragi, maize and rice, which have a longer shelf life.
The Karnataka park, expected to come up at Kolar/Tumkur, has a project cost of Rs 144 crore and it is expected to be ready in 18 months. The company is also setting up a food park at Khelgaon in Bhagalpur district of Bihar in association with Keventer Agro. Spread over 125 acres, the food park, which will have other individual investors, is estimated to cost between Rs 153-200 crore.