Barendra Industrial Park, run by Pran-RFL Group, is now collecting and pulping several products – including mangoes, tomatoes, olives, and guavas in their respective seasons.
The pulping of watermelon, pineapple, cucumber, and aloe vera will start soon.
Further, the country's leading industrial group has plans to produce food products – including frozen food and noodles – if it gets the necessary support from the authorities concerned.
When the factory starts in full swing, it will provide employment to 4,000-5,000 people, 95% of whom will be locals.
Kamruzzaman Kamal, director (marketing) of Pran-RFL Group, said this at a views-exchange meeting with local journalists at Barendra Industrial Park in Amanatpur of Godagari, Rajshahi on Tuesday.
He said that the expansion of agricultural products and socio-economic development of farmers are among the major objectives of Pran Group.
The principal objective of setting up Barendra Industrial Park in Godagari is to enable farmers in the Rajshahi area to sell their products without any intermediaries at a low transport cost, he added.
Kamruzzaman Kamal said, "Meanwhile, Barendra Industrial Park is collecting mangoes, tomatoes, guavas, and olives on a small scale as well as producing compost fertiliser. Local farmers and common people have started reaping the benefits of this. As a result of this activity, farmers have started supplying goods to the factory."
He said Pran-RFL Group places the highest priority on: setting up factories, producing quality products, creating mass employment at the local level, socio-economic development, as well as environmental protection.
"We have already applied for a gas connection. If we get help from the government agencies concerned for a gas connection and other necessary matters, frozen food and noodles will be produced soon and these will be exported," he added.
Kamruzzaman Kamal said that at present 1,000-1,500 employees work at the factory depending on the season.
He said that the products of Pran-RFL Group are now being exported to 141 countries around the world.
"We set up the factory in Godagari thinking about the availability of raw materials for various products. If a conducive investment environment is created here, including gas connections, not just Pran-RFL but many more companies will show interest in setting up factories. As a result, socio-economic conditions, including employment, will change drastically," he added.
Sarwar Hossain, deputy general manager of Barendra Industrial Park, said that once upon a time, farmers' tomatoes were wasted on farmland due to low prices.
"Since 2018, that situation has begun to change. Farmers are now selling tomatoes at real prices and, in the meantime, tomato production has increased. We have done experimental work in the factory to pulp watermelon, pineapple, cucumber, and aloe vera," he added.
Sarwar Hossain said, "We place the highest importance on raw materials so that buyers get the best quality products. Pulping is done in a completely aseptic manner in state-of-the-art machines.
"The factory is completely environmentally friendly as the waste is divided into two parts and organic manure is generated from husks and fuel from seeds. There is currently an ETP (effluent treatment plant) for the liquid waste of the factory," he added.
Senior Manager (Public Relations) Touhiduzzaman, Deputy Manager Makshud-ul-Islam Joyaddar, and other senior officials of Pran-RFL Group were present on the occasion.
After the views-exchange meeting, journalists visited different parts of Barendra Industrial Park, including the ETP.
In 2017, Pran-RFL Group set up Barendra Industrial Park on 102 bighas of land in Amanatpur of Godagari, Rajshahi.